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

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Fuel Gel Fireplace I Chose Is...


The Real Flame Silverton model!  [Can't wait for it to get here, so excited I will have this in place well before Christmas and will have a mantel to decorate and real flames to admire on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

If you take a look at the three finalist fireplaces in my prior post, you can spot some common themes:  (1) all of them have faux pilasters or pillars on either side of the firebox; (2) all are the dark wood finish I love; (3) all of them have a form of "base" that would look good either sitting on a hearth or sitting on flooring or carpeting without a hearth.

The Silverton contains all three features.  I liked its base best of all, because it has nice finish details on it.  I thought that the style of the Sicilian Harvest model would collect a lot more dust than the Silverton.  I liked that both the Silverton and Ashley fireplaces had fireboxes that are raised so one can see the fire better; the Scilian Harvest fireplace had its firebox lower, near the base of the fireplace mantel, and I didn't find that appealing.

I also liked the cleaner, somewhat sleeker lines of Silverton' styling and the cream faux travertine trim around the firebox nicely sets off both the black firebox and the wooden mantel.  I thought the other two fireplace finalists looked dark and a little boring in comparison to that "pop" of contrasting color and material used in the Silverton to set off the firebox. 

The price difference between the least expensive fireplace and the one I ultimately chose is $128.  All things considered, I decided that $128 was not too great a price to pay for a fireplace that I really liked, as opposed to buying the least expensive option and then turning out not to like it so much at all.   All of these fireplaces came with free shipping, a great deal as shipping could add $50 to $60 to the cost!  Let me add that I also felt positive about buying a product from an American company based in my home state. 

And so, after my broken heart because I was not able to buy the beautiful french-styled gel fuel fireplace that I had coveted for my mistress bedroom at the former Maison Newton back in January, that carton of gel fuel I bought and did not return when the fireplace deal fell apart (due to damage to the lone remaining fireplace, the seller did not want to ship it, and I did not want to buy a damaged fireplace, but it was sooooo pretty) will be put to use after all!

BTW, I ended up buying the Silverton model online at amazon.com, for a few dollars less than Wayfair.com was offering the same model.  It pays to shop around, though.  When I first saw the Sicilian Harvest model at amazon.com a few days ago, it was not priced anywhere near $297 and change.  But yesterday, at Wayfair.com, it was!  Then, when I checked last night at amazon.com, the price on the Sicilian Harvest model had dropped to match the price offered at Wayfair.com.  The lesson remains pertinent -- it pays to shop around.

It's amazing how quickly things in one's life can change. In January, I was contemplating staying at the former Maison Newton through retirement, buying a fireplace, planning remodelling and redos! And now, here I am, 10 months later, in a different home, with entirely new sets of issues to face. Holy Hathor!

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