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


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Project Update and I Want...

Hola darlings!  I started writing this particular post back on July 21st.  Fortunately, the weather did moderate away from 10 straight days of insufferable heat, humidity and insane dew points!

While I'm suffering through unbearable heat, humidity and tropical level dew points in SE Wisconsin, watching my front lawn shrivel helplessly under onslaught of no rain and sod web worm, I am slowly working on various projects around the house.

The Stairs

I have been seriously impeded in my progress toward refinishing them by having to chisel out staples that were used to install the chintzy padding.  Most of them are slightly buried below the level of the tread, making it impossible to get a grip on them with any kind of pliers or other tool that I have.  So, I've had to use a very small flat-head screwdriver, carefully pounded underneath the stable and then levered just enough to get it above the tread so I can "grab" it, and then pull and tug and huff and puff like hell to get it out!  I may have reported this earlier and if I have, sorry!  Thus far, because of this unexpected roadblock (or perhaps it would be more accurate to say a couple hundred roadblocks in the form of staples) I have only cleared two stairs!  Yep, two lousy stairs. 

Here is a container of the crap I've pulled from two stairs worth of staples:

I know that, in the end, this project and all the huffing and puffing and sore butt muscles (pulling seems to do something to my butt and makes it sore, ouch!) will be worth it because the stairs will look smokin' once refinished with paint and stain.  Because of the weather, though, and the press of activities outside on the weekends when the weather has been less horrid (few and far between), I haven't felt like picking up the mini flat-head and pounding it gently underneath staples when I get home from the office.  The weather is forecast to break Friday afternoon when a cold front is supposed to roll through, bringing a big storm with rain, strong winds and much cooler temps and lower dew points for Saturday and Sunday.  I've heard that song before -- and it didn't happen! 

I WILL finish this project, it may not be until winter, though.

The Family Room

No painting done, much wallpaper still remains to be removed and drywall damage repaired.  Sigh.  On a plus note, though, I got tired of waiting for dramatic change and as an enticement to keep going, I pulled out some of my new celadon and blue accessories and am loving how the space looks!  The color really shows up against the neutral backgrounds.  It doesn't pop, per se, but is noticeable nonetheless. I mentioned a new lampshade a post or two ago.  Actually there are two new lampshades and I will post about the chain of events in the future.  Meanwhile, here's a teaser shot of the shade that started the latest determination to keep improving the space, one small step at a time:

I Want...

...a ton of money so I can buy whatever I want and hire people to do all of the work for me and get it done nearly instantly!

...a new front (living) room.  Been hankering for one for awhile now.  I'm sure I've mentioned this in prior posts so I won't go there again.

Lately I've been entertaining myself on the bus rides to and from the office by making a mental wish list of what I would/could do if budget was not such a consideration.  I would:
  • Remove 23 year old light grey carpeting that has seen better days and put down hardwood flooring.  It wouldn't have to be through the entire first floor, I'd be happy with just having it in my 16 x 19 front room. 
  • New sofa
  • New chairs with ottoman (twin poufs or ottomans would also be an option, if there is room)
  • Remove china cabinet/buffet to the family room and get rid of the 1986 entertainment center that is there now. The upper glassed-in buffet unit holds lots of books, the lower enclosed shelves hold lots of paper records and accessories
  • New bookshelves, either flanking the fireplace or anchoring the wall opposite the fireplace wall

I've got no plan put together.  I could do a "mood board" and form up a comprehensive list of what is to be done, what will be kept, what will be removed, and what will be replaced, along with photos, lots and lots of inspiration photos.  A color palette.  Materials list.  Oh - and a budget!  The most important thing, LOL!  I've got no budget.  None.  Zero.  There are no funds available to pay for such changes.  That hasn't stopped me from window shopping online, though :)  For just a few things.  And dreaming is free.

I found a chair at Home Decorators that I absolutely fell in love with.  Now is this a delicious chair, or what -- here it is:

Moore Wingback Chair
Make a Luxurious Statement with This Sophisticated Wingback Chair
Item # 13388

  • 41.5"H x 29.5"W x 29"D.
  • Solid wood, bonded leather.

  • Price:  $549 plus $55 standard shipping ($604).  It comes in ivory, grey pebble, Havana brown and black.  I fell in love instantly with the ivory.

    I don't know what it is about this chair, it just "speaks" to me. Maybe it's the proportions; maybe its the modern take on the traditional wing chair, and I'm a traditional girl at heart. Whatever it is,  I want it!

    An equally beautiful and less expensive possibility, also featuring plenty of nail-head trim, is the Meloni arm chair, also at Home Decorators:

    Meloni Armchair
    Bring Personality to Your Home with This Armchair
    Item # 02848

    36.5"H x 34"W x 30"D.
    Price:  $419 plus $70 standard shipping ($489). There are five upholstery options and I liked two a lot.  The one in the photo above is herringbone brown; the other color I liked is dark beige linen.  The dark beige linen would probably be a better choice for what I have in mind in my imaginary redone room.  It's hard to tell from the website, but it appears that it is a lighter/brighter color option.  I like the lines of this chair a lot, as well as the nailhead trim.  I'm not a fan of the piping on the seat cover; I think it would wear quickly, crackle up and start falling off in little flecks. Then what would I do?
    I envision either chair style accompanied by a generous ottoman of undetermined color and material, shared by two matching chairs.  Yeah, matchy.  I don't think my room is large enough to support two different styles of arm chairs in the main seating area.
    I found two sofas that I love!  The Brae sofa (below) that I found at Steinhafel's (a regional, family-owned furniture store) is my first choice!  Style-wise I love it equally with my other choice, but the price is much more manageable for my non-existent budget.  Just looking at this photo makes my heart go pitter-patter:
    Brae Sofa

    On sale right now for a limited time at 30% off for $1,887.27.  It's a Bernhardt sofa, woo woo!  Luxury abounds with down-blend cushions and I know that Bernhardt means quality construction.

    92.5"W x 43"D x 34.5"H

    • Kiln dried wood
    • Removable legs
    • Loose back pillows
    • Poly Dacron wrapped seat cushions
    • 1.8 density foam cushions
    • Made in USA
    • Removable, zippered seat cushions
    • High gauge sinuous springs, with double springs on each end
    • Other colors available by special order
    • Hundreds of fabric choices available by special order
    • Heavily reinforced and padded sides and backs for maximum durability
    • Down blend cushions

    I've no idea what the color of the upholstery is in the photo.  But, as a special order item there are LOTS of options available.  This sofa is about 8 inches longer than my present sofa and it would take some new floor plans to fit it in the room because the front door enters directly into this room and one crosses the room to get to the stairs and the short hall to the back of the house (kitchen, dinette, family room).  I'd have to remove some existing pieces that I am very attached to, and create an entirely new vision.  Am I ready for that?  Hmmm... 

    On the other hand, I love the tight back with the throw pillows; I love the nail-head trim and the three turned legs across the front, as well as three separate seat cushions. If it came in a bench seat option, I would buy that instead.  It irks me to see a huge sofa with only two seat cushions. Who sits on the crack between the cushions?  Nobody!  That means if you have a crowd, only four skinny people, or two normal sized people, would sit on the sofa...  I wish bench seat options were the norm!  On a bench seat cushion, nobody lands on a butt-crack!

    This is the other sofa, also at Steinhafel's, that caught my eye:

    The Kensingway Sofa

    This classic tufted tuxedo style comes in at 117 inches long; the "small" version is like 97 inches long - way too large for my space. The price is over $2,000, on sale ($2,007).  It's on back order until near the end of September, 2013.  I love the three seat cushions, tight tufted back, the nail-head trim, the three turned legs across the front.  I've always been attracted to this style of sofa.  This is gorgeous.

    The Kensingway is also a Bernhardt sofa, and features the same quality construction as the Brae sofa (above). 

    Oh well.  Perhaps I really should have married either of those two rich men years ago.  Hmmm....nah.


    1. Jan you have shared some really beautiful pieces. I love, love the first chair. I am head over heels in love with the last sofa too. It would be so nice to actually be able to afford something like that :).

      1. Hi Taunnie, thanks for stopping by. Yeah, that first chair - it's gorgeous. It is very similar to one I've seen at World Market but the World Market chair only comes in one color -- it's the Elliot Wingchair and this season it is a lovely blue-green, but I'm looking to go very neutral with any new furnishings, pieces I can decorate around and get new looks by changing paint colors and accessories. Yes, turned 62 and I'm finally getting with the decorating program, LOL! This is the link to the World Market Elliot Wing Chair -- it's on sale now and the price is right. The color is lovely, but just not for me. http://www.worldmarket.com/product/pacific+blue+elliott+wingback+chair.do?page=2&from=fn

    2. Jan,
      Goshes that must be quite a job pulling those staples out!! I do admire your fortitude though!!
      I have been busy this summer with projects as you have seen when you visited and left such wonderful comments!! Thank you so much for all the nice things you say!! I really appreciate the support!
      Now I am starting to pack up the downstairs.... What a job because of all the stuff I have. I am going to paint too....the DR and the LR. Then the last week of September will be when they install my new floors... I am looking forward to it but it is going to be quite a job!! And new countertops in the Kitchen!! I still have the original ones!!

      I hope your stairs project gets a bit easier for you.... Take care, my freind!!