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, February 4, 2015

Part 1: I Nearly Strangled Myself With A Duvet Cover

Hola darlings!

Don't quite understand how I managed to get myself all tangled up in the thing, but heaven knows it's as big as a circus tent and twice as hard to work with!  I somehow managed to extricate myself and lived to blog about it --

I must be mad, mad, I tell you.  Bwwwwaaaahhhhaaaaahhhhhaaaaa....

I've been visiting the Ikea website for just about forever, and I love how everything there looks!  Now do I have any Ikea furnishings in my house?  I look at all the Ikea rooms online and say to myself  "I like that, and oh, I really like that and I want that," but in the end my taste is, well, old-fashioned boring when it comes right down to it -- the antithesis of Ikea style.  But I have purchased some items from Ikea.  My mistress bedroom curtains, for one thing -- LOTS AND LOTS OF CURTAINS -- like 20 pair maybe, just on two windows.  But the curtains are inexpensive -- well, they were inexpensive until I bought 20 pair.  Hmmm, okay, maybe not quite 20 pair.  There are three pairs of sheer under-curtains on each window and two and one-half pairs of semi-sheer over-curtains on each window.  I really think each window needs another pair of over-curtains, just to give me the opacity I want.  Or maybe I'll get rid of the sheers underneath altogether, saving them for elsewhere (they are so whispy and beautiful, blow beautifully in the summer breezes, but not at all practical for blocking views from outside into my boudoir - and who would want to snoop into the boudoir of a 63 year old woman, I ask you -- but that's a subject for another day), and buy three pairs of semi-sheer over-curtains to use as under-curtains, splitting one pair between the two windows.  That actually might WORK!  Duh.  Don't know why I didn't think of it before.

Bed in it's winter dress.  The tie-on curtains framing the head of the bed will be taken down for
the summer. I love my black and white toile print comforter set by Jacquelyn Smith.  It's paired with
a black and white gingham check sheet set.  P.S.  The Christmas ornaments have been put away 'til next year.

I love how they look!  They're soft, they're a creamy white not that slightly blue-tinged "cold feeling" white, and they filter the light beautifully.  I feel positively decadent in my boudoir with these Ikea curtains. I just want them to be a little less see-through...

But this post isn't about my curtains -- it's about DUVET COVERS!

I think Ikea cast a spell on me.  One mad day, after months and months of visiting its website and oohing and aahing over its duvet covers, I bought TWO:
This is the Ikea Alvine Kvist duvet set (grey and white).
This is the Ikea Rodbinka duvet set (white, red, charcoal, taupe).
I actually wanted to buy about four more, but I reined myself in...
The two pristine Ikea packages sat around for several months, and then on January 4, 2015, in a fit of domesticity (while the weather was going bonkers with a week straight of 20 below zero and colder), I pulled out the Ikea Rodbinka duvet set; gave it a gentle wash and dry, ironed it (that took HOURS!), and then wrestled with my comforter to get it into the duvet cover.  Finally, at the end of a day that had started before 7 a.m. that morning and ended about 3:30 p.m., I had this:



What's wrong with this picture?  Well no, those are not shadows being cast on the duvet cover by the setting sun.  That's the black toile print of my comforter peeking through the sheer white material (Lyocel) of the Ikea duvet cover!  Holy Hathor!


At this point, I was just about ready to take the damn thing outside and burn it.  A bonfire would have been a welcome relief from the bitter cold...  All that work -- hours of ironing, struggling for I don't know how long stuffing the comforter into the duvet cover, and then getting it to lay "just so."  Arggghhhh!

Thing is, I LOVE my Jacquelyn Smith comforter.  I bought it years ago (about 2009) and I have not tired of its black and white toile pattern or it's pretty details -- its scalloped edges banded in black and white stripe set on the bias, and the black and white striped pattern on the other side. It is starting to show a little wear/fading after two washings a year, though, despite being very careful with it.  So, I thought hey, a duvet cover -- that will give me a new look and also help me preserve my beloved comforter by giving its rest periods for several more years!

What to do, what to do?  I hated being able to see the toile print through the duvet cover!  And then, I came up with what I thought was a brilliant solution, ahem...

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