April 6, 2019:

Hola!

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

Jan

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Decorating the Christmas Tree

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Ho ho ho everyone!  What a chore.  I got the tree together Friday night, finally figured out the internal plugs yesterday morning so now all the lights are working, except the burnt out ones.  I replaced two bulbs near the top of the tree where they are most noticeable.  I tried using a standard replacement bulb and it burnt out instantly, pfttt!  So I need a special kind of bulb and I guess I'm going to have to do some hunting online, and hope I can find some.  Well, the tree was purchased in 2006 or 2007 and so it's 7 or 8 years old.  Under the circumstances, it's held up extremely well.  There are not a LOT of burnt out lights, just a few. 

Today is the last day of my wonderful four-day weekend.  I've been puttering around all weekend, doing this and that, just hanging out and enjoying every single second.  I decided this year to forego a wreath on the front door, opting instead to hang the pretty wreath I bought on clearance last year at Menard's on the staircase wall and temporarily retire the bullseye mirror.  I put fresh batteries in the wreath that will go above the fireplace and need to decorate it -- but how?  Last year I added gold and silver round glass ornaments and my ubiquitous gold beads and thought it was just beautiful!  This year, hmmmm....

I have been hauling boxes or ornaments and decorations from the upstairs closet and unpacked the centerpiece for the top of the fireplace mantle/mantel.  I also got it on clearance last year at Menard's, and it's so pretty!  But other than it, I still haven't decided what to do decoration wise. 

Earlier this summer/fall I put together a family tree for a friend of mine, and a few days ago I received a surprise gift package delivered to me at the office -- white feather boas!  I loved the feather boa she gave me last year so much (you may remember, I hung it from invisible hooks underneath my mantle/mantel and added beautiful snowflake ornaments, and loved the effect), and had thought about decorating the 2013 Christmas tree with some feather boas.  Well, she remembered that and bought out the entire stock of white feather boas from the Claire's store at Southridge Mall.  LOL!  These boas, however, are not plain white.  They have silver and pale purple (lilac?) tinsel interwoven amid the feathers and so they sparkle in the light.  I used two of the boas to make the "few minutes" Christmas wreath that I posted about a day or two ago and am absolutely loving that wreath!  Last night I added seven battery-operated votive candles more or less evenly around it, wherever I could get purchase in the vines hidden behind the feathers, and it was so pretty, twinkling and glowing in the darkened front room.

In a relatively short period of time this morning (much shorter than the time it took me last year to add French ribbon) I got the remaining feather boas tucked around the tree branches and I love how they look!  The issue now is - exercising restraint.  I'm going to try and stick with a pearls, silver, white and glass ornaments, and it's going to be difficult, especially since my penchant is for a tree that looks like the one at the beginning of this post! Fully loaded and weighing 1,000 pounds...

I had earlier determined that I was going to go with a white-themed tree this year, perhaps with some natural elements in it.  Then I started seeing all kinds of really lovely "natural" decorated trees and some of the cutest ornaments and decorations!  I blame Home Decorators and Granden Road for my fits of indecision -- their catalogs -- totally unsolicited by me -- arrived in the mail and were so gorgeously rendered.  I spent days on the bus rides to/from the office drooling over each and every detail and gasping at the prices.  Ach, what can I say.  It's enough to drive a normally rational woman stark raving mad, mad I tell you!

To try and recapture my rationality, I started hunting around for white themed Christmas trees.  Oh oh. Here are just a few of the trees I fell madly, passionately in love with:

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When I showed the tree above to my bus-buddy Thelma, the look on her face, LOL!  Waaaaayy too over the top for her.  "Where's the star?" she asked.

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The tree above is a tabletop tree, tiny!  Imagine it six to seven feet tall, oooh laaa laaa!  Of course, this is straying far far away from my basic green tree with white lights.

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Unfortunately I lost the link to the source for this
photo.  I want to say it was from ZAS decorations, but
just not sure, and of course now I am unable
to find it again!


Thelma doesn't understand trees with the elaborate top decorations, but I'm in love with them -- just wish I could duplicate them.  But no matter how hard I try (within budgetary restraints), I cannot seem to duplicate the look of any of the trees above.  I always wander off track, somehow.

And, as you can see by my selections, restraint ain't exactly my middle name...

2 comments:

  1. oh I have girlfriends like that too. say I am over the top, but everytime they come over they just look at my rooms foever! :)r

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    Replies
    1. Hear ya loud and clear! I put lots of thought into the things that go into one of my rooms, I'm not very good at photographing them or even describing them (in a succinct way). The tree I finally arrived at will be posted about in detail on 12/8/13, which I think would be sort of Thelma Christine approved :) It's got a gold star on top from Teacher.

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