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, November 15, 2014

Plans for Decorating the Kitchen/Dinette for Christmas

Hola everyone!

Since moving to the retirement version of Maison Newton in July (R-Day is coming up fast -- looking toward early 2015, the earlier, the better), I've been working hard to try and use as many of the decorative and decor items from the former Maison Newton in this new home that I possibly can, to keep costs down. 

Hmmm...not always successful at that. 

After sizing up how the sun worked in the space with these colors since move-in day (July 7, 2014), I purchased a new rug to anchor the dining table and chairs and new curtains for the patio doors, and love them!  But the curtains are not up to the task of  providing a warm and cozy look during a long Wisconsin winter, so for autumn (through Thanksgiving) I put up some gorgeous, thick, rich, brocade curtains that I bought at Linens 'n Things many moons ago.  Check out the autumnal decor here.

Here's a photo of the rug I purchased that is now anchoring the dinette set:

The colors work great with the color scheme in the kitchen/dinette during summer and fall, but for Christmas and winter-time?  Well, not for me.

How does an idea come about? Was it built on last year's table-top Cardinal Christmas tree, the old teal lamp I "inherited" from my sister Deb, the "Crazy Birds" Christmas placemats (from Cost Plus World Market purchased last year), and the ruby-red table cloth I used last year at the former Maison Newton?
One day not too long ago, while shopping online at Cost Plus World Market for something entirely different, I came across these curtains:

I fell in love with them!  I have to tell you, though, I hemmed and hawed for several days about spending that much money for two panels for my patio doors before I finally decided to go for it. Now, to see them marked down more than $10 a panel, it really IRKS me.

I figured they would go beautifully with my red tablecloth:

I envisioned my cardinal table-top Christmas tree somewhere in the mix, and my beloved cardinal prints (I printed them from the internet many years ago and Mr. Don loved them) framing the patio doors, and somewhere, somehow, sister Deb's beautiful teal lamp in the mix, too.  But -- the rug.

What was I going to do about the rug that had no part of Christmas hues at all?  Remove it, I thought.  But then I thought about the wear/tear on the vinyl plank floors that the chairs (in particular, the chair I normally sit in when I'm working at the computer on the dinette table) would do without a rug underneath.

I moved into the former Maison Newton more than 24 years ago, and that entailed lots of new purchases at the time, including this wool area rug for the family room, which was the only room I had furniture for at the time (measures about 5' 7" by 8' 9"), so I bought the rug to match what I had:

About 20 years ago, when I entirely changed the color scheme in the family room, I wrapped this rug in plastic and had B-I-L Fred put it up into the garage rafters   It stayed in the garage rafters until a few weeks ago, when my brother Jeff and S-I-L Heidi helped me move the remainder of my stuff out of the garage at the former Maison Newton.  It went from one garage - right into another!

Somehwere along the line, I thought -- hey, maybe your red rug can be used to anchor the dinette set...  Now was that before - or after - I decided to buy those gorgeous Darby curtain panels (at full price)?  Honestly, I don't know.  But I can tell you that I'm going to look into Cost Plus World Market's rebate policy because I purchased these curtains on October 30th.  Why should I be stuck paying more than $10 more a panel two weeks later?  I'll send them back if I have to and come up with a less expensive alernative.

Back to the rug!  I had forgot all the other colors and tones it held, other than red and dark blue:

Here's a close-up. The detail and range of colors is amazing.  Its myriad colors include a sort of grey-blue that at first glance I thought was turquoise, a sage-green in deeper and paler shades, pink, golds, creams, whites, and a few different shades of red. It is not a true "Oriental" pattern, although it is described as a "Sarouk."

Unfortunately, the rug has "bubbles" in it - YIKES!  I don't know if that was caused by laying over the rafters for 20 years or so, or if it was caused by being stood "upright" (at an angle) against one of the garage walls at the current Maison Newton for the past 3-4 weeks or so.

Today I hauled the rug from the garage into my living room.  I let it rest awhile, and then I "unwrapped" it and unrolled it, shoving furniture around to make room. 

About an hour later, this is what it looked like:

I am hoping the bubbles will resolve themselves.  In the meantime, I moved the rug downstairs to the wreck room where it has plenty of room to stretch out.  The area is heated.  Tomorrow morning I'll take the vacuum downstairs and clean it, and then let it rest again, crossing my fingers! 

I am not sure that the rug will "go" with the Darby panels from Cost Plus World Market because of possible scale issues -- the scale of the designs in the Darby panels and my beautiful rug appear similar to each other and may therefore clash more than coordinate.  The colors might not work together either.  If my rug had more turquoise or teal in it...  On the other hand. If I can live with it, that's fine with me.  At the end of the day, our decorating decisions should be made by what we like and what works for us rather than any design gurus, because we are ultimately the people who live with those decisions day in and day out. 

The beautiful Darby panels may be shipped back to Cost Plus World Market on Monday if I can't get the sales price on them, and I'll be looking for something else -- or reording the same panels at the lower price (so if CPWM doesn't give me the sales price on my recent purchase, how stupid is that???)  In any event,  I am sure my 24 year old area rug will anchor the dinette until I decide that spring has arrived. Sister Deb's teal lamp (if I can fit it in somewhere), and my cardinal table-top Christmas tree and all of my cardinal accents, and the "crazy bird" placemats, will work fabulously with it!

Swap out will most likely occur over Thanksgiving Day weekend.  Tonight, I'm doing some more work on my future office/den/library/study -- oh, whatever the heck it's called.

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