July 16, 2017:
Hola! Where does the time go, Geez Louise! Half summer is already gone, and I am first now updating this from last December, tsk tsk. Bad Jan! So, been busy puttering around the yard, as always, and paying more attention than I probably should be to politics. The kitchen "remodel" is on hold due to budgetary constraints, but I hope to have that remedied before the end of the year. And I have yet to paint the guest room - it's only been 3 years now since I moved in to this version of Maison Newton, I'm not lazy or anything, nope... LOL! Take care and have a great rest of the summer. Jan

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Another Winter Storm

Hola darlings!

This one defied all of the model predictions and dumped 8.3" (officially measured at Mitchell International Airport which is right on top of Lake Michigan in southeast Milwaukee).  It started snowing at 2:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon, and another 4 inches fell during the day today, with more lake-effect snow overnight.  Sigh.

There were also strong winds (sustained 20 to 35 mph) out of the northeast off Lake Michigan, which meant big drifts.

When I got up extra-early this morning and took a look outside, I knew there was no way I was going to make it into work today. Couldn't even make it out of the house to the road (which had not yet been plowed).  My driveway and the sides of the house got hammered!  The important part is the driveway, because that is my main entrance to my house - I do not have a separate sidewalk to my front door.  I don't drive and don't own a car, but I need to shovel a 30 foot path from my front door down the driveway to the road (my subdivision does not have sidewalks, thank Goddess!)  Not something I'm supposed to do (shovel) with my heart issues.  But I had to get out of the house.  I shoveled a shovel-wide path.  The rest of the piled up snow (we had a storm last week that dumped snow) will be here until June, I think...

It was pretty though, and with mild temperatures in the 30's not unpleasant as long as you don't mind snow pelting you in the face despite hood and scarf!  I took photos from inside the house early this morning -- the snow was 4" deeper once I started shoveling.  The last three photos below are of the backyard, all the rest were taken out of my front window or front door.










Yep, that's my driveway.  Hard to tell from this photo, but there's about 3 feet of plow slush and snow
boulders piled up at the end of the driveway thanks to the plows that came through.  The fricking jerks!
Imagine a lone woman out there with a snow shovel, trying to clear that by hand...  That's moi.


 
I took this picture through the front door - you can see the drops of melted snow on the other side of the glass.
I loved the contrast between the snow and the red berries still clinging to the barberry shrub at the front porch.


 


Sunday, February 24, 2013

My Adventures in Putting Together a Four Piece Desk

Hola darlings!

It is a beautiful day here today and I need to stretch my legs and hike down to the Pick 'n Save and pick up some wine and fabric softener.  I'm going to use the fabric softener to attack the wallpaper in the family room later this afternoon.  But first -- I want to write about my adventures yesterday putting my new desk together.


The box the desk came in was huge!  As you can see, I used state-of-the-art box-opening tools to get through the cardboard -- although to tell the truth when I tugged the thing into the house from the front stoop earlier in the week a lot of the cardboard had already torn off right in my hands.  Geez! 
So, here you see a pretty picture of my new desk!


As you can see, it is a writing desk :)  I don't believe I mentioned its dimensions yesterday when I as going on and on about it.  It's not a large desk -- only 20" deep but I'll have width on either side of my laptop to spread out paperwork and books when I'm researching.


This desk was well packed and it came through with no damaged ends or corners.  As you can see, there was a LOT of styrofoam packing material around it, and little bits and pieces of it got everywhere!  What a mess!


Yep -- only four pieces, thank Goddess!  The desk top and drawer had come shipped put together, but I took the drawer out of the desk top before I flipped her over on her back and attached the sides and crossbar, so I only had to put four pieces together. Lots of bolts and nuts and washers and one of those little Allen wrenches -- I HATE those suckers.  Before I started putting the pieces together, I vacuumed all of the styrofoam bits and pieces off of the desk and carpet.

The directions were easy to follow, and the pieces were all labeled.  The nuts, bolts and washers, etc. all came in little plastic bags that could be resealed shut and they were also all labeled.  So instructions were like "take bolt G and add spring washer E and flat washer I to it" with a little (very little) diagram of how it was supposed to go together.  And so, I put the desk together!


Almost done...   The hardest part that also took the longest was using that tiny Allen wrench to tighten the bolts. Tedious and not the most accessible bolts to tighten!  My hands are not all that large and I was fumbling around, couldn't get the head of the wrench into the bolt properly to give it a twist, and I was not able to rotate the Allen wrench around 360 degrees, so I had to twist, take it out and reset it again and again until the bolt was sufficiently tightened.  But eventually all the pieces were together and I was able to flip the desk to its feet!

But -- something was wrong...


Oh frigging no!  The stablizing cross-bar at the bottom of the desk is supposed to be at the "front" of the desk, not on the drawer side where I will be sliding my chair underneath!  What the hell?  How on earth did that happen?

I looked at the directions and double-checked the stickers on the pieces -- I was supposed to insert side B on the right side of the desk. Check.  Side A was installed on the left side of the desk.  Check.  Guess what -- THE DIRECTIONS WERE WRONG!

LOL!  Yep, in this case meticulously following the directions led to the legs being installed on the wrong sides.  Side B needed to go on the left of the desk, and Side A needed to go on the right side of the desk.  That way, the holes for the bolts to hold the cross-bar in place ended up across the front bottom of the desk.

And so, I had to take the desk apart and put it together again.  This time success:


Oh bloody damn!  It's still wrong!  The cross-bar was installed with the holes showing the little holes where the locking cams were set!  Those holes should be facing toward the back of (drawer side) the desk.  Look!


Hole, front and center!  Damn damn damn damn damn!

But I wasn't about to loosen the bolts yet again, and slip out the cross-bar.  I think I know how this happened - it has something to do with the little holes in which I had to insert two dowels...  In any event, for now, the desk is staying as is!  I didn't do it last night, but later today when I pull out my Old English furniture polish to give the desk a second going-over I will take a q-tip and color the inside of those holes, which right now are just raw wood.  I hope this will make the holes less noticeable.  The assembly kit did not come with little plugs to fill those holes, unfortunately. 

There I'd been, patting myself on the back and thinking how great I was to be able to put that desk together in about 30 minutes (most of which was spent hand-tightening ten bolts with that nasty little Allen wrench), when the reviews I'd read online complained about it taking more than an hour and having to take the desk apart because of defective instructions or missing pieces, etc. etc.  Ha ha ha!  Well, I sure ended up eating a big helping of humble pie.  But after three glasses of wine I was able to see the humor in the situation :)

I gave the desk a coat of Old English last night and she is looking so fine right now!  The lines of my Chinese-style arm chair go well with the "campaign furniture" style of the desk, and the finishes are very similar colors.  I'm so glad I bought this desk!




Now I just have to remove the rest of the wallpaper, repair the drywall where the wallpaper damaged the finish, sand some areas where I see excessive sand texture finish, prime everything, paint the woodwood, paint the upper walls, install the chair rail, install the textured paper on the bottom of the walls and paint it.  Voila!  I should be done in about another 3 years.  Meanwhile, these walls give new meaning to the term "shabby chic."

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Blast From The Past: Family Circle 10/01/1988

While I was cleaning out the entertainment center in the family room this morning (see post below), I came across a folder that had old magazine pages torn out, including this entire article.  In the days before the internet, websites and blogs, magazines such as Family Circle gave us practical advice with photographs of transformations from blah and bland to va-va-VOOM! 

While some of the colors, some of the styles and the liberal use of wallpaper borders (the last of which was only recently removed from Maison Newton) are currently out of fashion, one never knows what may come back into vogue again.  The underlying approaches to refreshing and improving blah spaces to something else on a modest budget are still sound today, as we see by abundance evidence in D-I-Y and decorating magazines and blogs.  Check out the kitchen redo -- yep, darkish-finished cabinets painted white, and the room was transformed with a few coats of paint!  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G :)  Some things are just timeless.  I hope you are able to read the smaller print -- and for some reason that I could not figure out, a line of text at the bottom of the pages was cut off sometimes, but you should be able to get the gist of the advice tendered in this article.  Oh, and try to ignore the ragged edges of the pages.  I wasn't kidding when I said these pages were torn out of a magazine! 








My comments:  If I had had a nursery like the one above (old panelling was painted and tromp d'oile touches were added), I'd be President of the United States today, I'm certain of it.  The closet redo - what a transformation!  It's hard to believe I'm looking at the same space.  Adding the skylight was also amazing, but I would not classify either of those projects as something I'd ever attempt on my own as a D-I-Y.  But I know some of you courageous souls would/could and probably have!





Lots of good design going on in these 1988 rooms, and some faux-pas -- like tiling the kitchen countertop and using that so out of place vanity in the master bath and too-small mirror over the sink.  Overall, though, in MHO, the design has held up well.  Only goes to show, good design never goes out of style.  Colors come and go and so do fads (such as the current mania for painting perfectly good furniture with white chalk paint), but good design principles are forever. 

I am adding this post to Throw Back Tuesday #14, woo woo!  Check it out. 

Attacking the Family Room for the Sake of a New Desk

Ohmygoddess!  I got up early this morning (5:30 a.m. ) and after coffee and cookie and checking the news and email, I cleaned out the drawers and shelves of the entertainment center and started shoving furniture around in the family room.  It's still a disaster area that needs to be finished, including removing the rest of the wall paper, spackling damaged drywall, priming, painting, installing the chair rail and new wallpaper.  I only started that project a year ago March.  Geez Louise! I will finish it -- but first...

All this activity was spurred by the purchase of a new desk that I got on close-out online at Kohl's and was delivered two days ago -- a $299 desk for $99 and free shipping.  I like $200 off!  It's the Sonoma life + style Mason desk.  The desk is discontinued evidently, although Kohl's is still offering the same style end-table and console table, at least for the present.  Here's a pic of my new desk:
I've been online window shopping months for a new desk for the family room.  I've been using my old console table as a desk, and it's both too narrow and too short, but tucked behind the sofa the way it used to be, I made do, raising it up to a good height with books under the legs that no one could see unless they were standing behind the sofa and looking down at the floor underneath the console table.  Raised up by the books, I could scootch my chair right up to the table and my legs slid underneath comfortably when I was working.

Comfort and practicality dictated that I buy a new desk despite my current budget constraints (medical bills not covered by insurance have blasted my budget to smithereens). I wanted something that wasn't "bulky" looking but had an adequate work surface, as well as a finish and style that would blend in with all of the finishes and styles residing in harmony at Maison Newton.  I also wanted something that didn't look CHEAP.  You know what I mean.  I thought about buying a second-hand traditionally-styled pedestal desk and refinishing it, possibly by 2032, but realistically everything on Craig's List around here is overpriced and I have no means of hauling a purchase home from a resale shop or rummage sale, or even if I bought something off Craig's List, except on my back.  That ain't happening!  Thus, the many months of looking (off and on) for a desk online that would be delivered to my doorstep.

So happy!  I'm going to put my new desk together, but first I wanted to rearrange the family room to conform to the "vision" inside my brain and also make space to work on the floor to assemble the desk!  After much heaving and shoving and pushing, I got the very heavy queen size sleeper sofa positioned in front of the window.  A few days ago I took the shelves off the mondo bookcases and heaved them into position in the corner, at 90 degrees to each other.  Ideally I would like them situated behind the area where the desk is going, but they are too wide to be centered on the back wall because of an heating vent that throws everything off kilter.  Eventually I would like to replace them with something narrower (the current bookcases are 30.5" wide each) and shallower (15-3/4" deep!)  Narrower bookcases will give me the option of centering them on the back wall despite that inconvenient heating vent!

Eventually I want to replace the furniture, the console table, and that 1980's entertainment center, ugh!  But I must make do with what I have for the foreseeable future.  Onward and upward!  Right now everything is a mess, but these pics give you a very good idea of what I'm dealing with, and the amount of work I have to accomplish before this room is back to something resembling normal:


 Yeah, those bookcases are painted ugly!  But with the shelves in and loaded with my tons of tomes they look presentable - and besides, they "go" with the console table and the entertainment center...


 Fortunately you cannot see the bright brass colored "mod" trim on the door and drawers of the entertainment center :)  But now, sitting here at the dinette table looking across the family room at it, it still appeals.  Perhaps there is something wrong with my eyesight???  Or sense of style?  Probably both...  More later, darlings.  Since starting and stopping the above post several times I've hiked to the Walgreens and Pick 'n Save and back, done more shovelling, did the dishes, and ate lunch.  Now it times to get back to work.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

"Gallery" Wall Mish Mash

Before I knew such things as gallery walls existed, back in 2007 I started hanging photographs from various trips and vacations on the staircase wall open to the front room.  Over time I added more and more photographs in a mish mash of frames and sizes.  I may have a photo of it somewhere and if I ever come across it I'll post it here.

In November 2009 when I listed the house for sale, that wall was deemed part of my "clutter" and so the photographs came down, and when the listing contract ended the photographs didn't go back up on the wall.

I wanted to do another wall, though, so the thought was in the back of my mind.

When I got turned on to the world of D-I-Y and decorating blogs -- an entire fantastic and crazy universe I'd never known existed -- I came across several gallery walls, and then I stumbled across Houzz and other sites with incredible photographs of decorated rooms, including awe-inspiring gallery walls.

Those walls caused a case of design paralysis.  You know the walls I'm talking about - 20 foot high walls filled with identically framed and matted art prints or black and white photographs; floor to ceiling arrangements with keys and cameos and mirrors and who knows all what else filling spaces in between white-painted frames against dramatic dark gray walls. Dreamy and gorgeous arrangements that would look ridiculously pretentious in Maison Newton. 

So, what's a girl to do?

I saw many examples of less formally-arranged less intimidating gallery walls, and some of them looked like something I might be able to pull off myself, like the below, from Houzz:


I took this photograph on October 27, 2012:


It was the start of my gallery wall in the dinette area of my kitchen.  It stayed this way until 3 weeks ago...

I read articles on how to go about putting a gallery wall together, about have an anchor line, about cutting out paper sized to the frames you want to hang and working out a pleasing arrangement on the floor first, and then taping the cut-outs to the wall so you can drive your nails in exactly the right spots and not end up with a wall full of nail holes, etc. etc. 

I did - none of the above.  Nope, not a single one of the rules did I obey.  I winged it right from the start, because there is no way I'm creating an arrangement that will stay static.  I know I will be adding things here and there, until there is absolutely no more room left on the wall to hang one more photograph.  And switching things around, too.  Right now there are 24 photographs and 3 mirrors on my dinette wall and I'm not going to take them all down and start all over again to come up with a new arrangement just because I want to add 1 or 2 more photos.

Soooo, I ended up with quite a few nail holes in the wall.  This is what the dinette wall looked like a week ago, last Sunday:



And this is what it looked like last night:



Me bad, photographed part of myself in the mirror taking the picture! 

Last night it occurred to me that if I add three more photographs, I'd have the equivalent of the ancient Egyptian game of Senet a/k/a 30 squares, a senet game of my life!  But, I would also add an "end" photograph showing the Egyptian pyramids, as a symbol of the Land of the Dead in the Western Desert, where all good kas went to rock and role if their hearts weighed less than Maat's feather of justice on the scales.  That photograph would represent, in effect, the invisible "31st square" that the successful senet player "lands on" off the board in the after-life.

But I don't have the kind of frames I want to hold the photos I would like to put up in the last row -- less than 2 feet off the floor.  Since there would only be four photos in the bottom row, I want the frames to be substantial to "anchor" the arrangement.  And while I love the idea of the senet game of my life, I'm not so sure I want to lock myself into that design, because adding another photograph, or a row across the top which, right now, does not go all the way up to the ceiling, would totally blow the senet board concept. 

Soooo, I'm hemming and hawing, and will look around for some frames in the meantime, and just stew on the senet idea for awhile. 

It took a ridiculously long amount of time to get to this point. Technically, I should have put the smaller pictures on top and the heavier pictures near the bottom, but I didn't decide to hang any of the smaller pictures until yesterday and I wasn't about to start over!  Perhaps when I paint the kitchen, which I hope will happen later this year once I'm able to keep the windows open.  Then I will use a comprehensive, organized approach to putting up my gallery wall...

Nah.

Baking Up Banana Bread Fiasco!

[This post was started the night of the big snow fall, but not completed until this morning.]

Hola darlings!

Well, I knew sooner or later we'd get clobbered with a major winter storm with SNOW rather than rain and wind.  After all, I do live in SE WI.  Damn!  Today was the day.  What a mess out there.  It's wet, heavy snow, the kind I absolutely won't even attempt to shovel, heeding heart doctor #2's dire warnings and yes, hearing on the news at least one or two unfortunate souls seem to pass away during every bad snowstorm here after over-doing it snow shoveling (as I was wont to do in my wicked past).  Unfortunately, I forgot to call the "snow man" whose name I got yesterday from a friend, and I figured calling him today would be a day late/dollar short, har :)

Fortunately, the temperatures will not be plunging into the Arctic range any time soon!  Hooray for small blessings!  That means once the snow is over there's a good chance that if we get any sunshine at all a lot of this stuff will melt.  Also, there is no wind to speak of, so this is not a blizzard, thank goodness!  It's soooo pretty, wish I could capture the beauty but I"m no photographer, that's for sure.  Still, I tried:



Oh look!  I caught a bunny in the pic above, LOL!  See him (or her), just to the left of the bird bath.  I set my camera on "scene"so it flashes a lot and goes real slow.  So you can see the dots of snow in front of the lens and the streaks of snow as the flakes blew past the lens as it was slllooowwwllllyyyy closing (or something like that, I think).  All those blobby "dents" in this snow cover in my backyard are caused from gobs of snow periodically falling down from my trees.


Here's another look at the backyard, but this one unfortunately shaky-handed.  Oh well.  Damn, I caught the overhead AT&T wires and WE power lines above -- rather ruin the ambiance, heh?  My trees are beautiful, though.

I figure by the time it is over I will have perhaps 7 to 9 inches of this parked in my driveway, which is my only route of entrance/exit to/from my house, as my front stoop opens to a curved portion of the driveway -- no separate front walk.  Also, in this subdivision, there are no sidewalks, so I don't have to worry about clearing walks.  Nope - we all walk in the roads around here, once they're plowed, that is. 

It is beautiful out there tonight, I have to say.  The snow is the wet sticky kind and so all the trees are coated.  .  The temperature will only drop to around 25 F tonight, very mild.  For part of the day it was hovering around 32-33 and so we got some rain/sleet, and the snow.  It's still snowing quite heavily out there now, and won't stop until midnight.

So, once I mushed my way home through ankle deep snow on unshoveled sidewalks (and Coldspring Road was in even worse shape, very unusual!), I lit my candles, fired-up the fireplace, turned on smooth jazz, and decided I was going to finally make that banana bread tonight that I've been ripening two bananas for all week!

This photo, taken about 10:15 p.m., shows the remains of my footprints which were made when I got home from work:


My footprints are disappearing!

One last winter scene.  Thought this was pretty, but my eyes can see it much better than I'm able to capture it on point-and-shoot:


This was taken looking out my front door -- my footprints from 6 p.m. look much more visible in this photo.  Wonder if they'll still be there in the morning...  Wish I could have captured the look of the snow falling in the streetlamp light.

Back to baking!  I pulled out my trusty old Better Homes and Gardens "New Cook Book" (Souvenir Edition) with the gold-covered hard back -- five ring binder.  This is the 9th Edition published in 1965 I believe, so it's not worth anything (unlike some editions of Better Homes and Garden cook books), but to me it's priceless because aside from what I learned by watching and listening to Grandma Newton and Mom, this book literally taught me how to cook! 



Per the recipe (for "Kona Banana Bread"), I prepared to make my "wet" ingredients and my "dry" ingredients.  I discovered I had absolutely no "shortening" on hand.  I hadn't made this recipe for awhile and forgot about the shortening! But I had plenty of butter, so I dumped that into my big mixing bowl.  It was taken from the fridge, though, so I did other things while the butter got to room temp.  I mushed up my bananas. I sprayed my wrong size square baking pan with nonstick spray.  It's the wrong size because it's 8 x8 x2 and the recipe calls for 9x9x2.  REALLY?  Then I mixed my dry ingredients, which called for 1 cup of sifted cake flour.  I don't think my Pick 'n Save carries such a thing as "cake flour" to begin with, and I don't own a sifter.  Oh well.

Then I went to get the sugar to cream into the butter and - no sugar.  Couldn't find it anywhere.  I was sure I had some sugar in the house, and I looked everywhere I thought I might have stashed it, as it was not in its usual place in the cabinet, but nope, no sugar.  So there I was - dry ingredients mixed in a bowl, mushed up bananas, mushed up room temperature butter -- and no sugar.  I was not about to walk to the Pick 'n Save and back in the snow storm, in the cold and the dark!

Well, what could I do?  A fat lot of nothing.  I wrapped up the dried ingredients, refrigerated the mushed up butter and the mushed up bananas, and went to the Pick 'n Save the next day after work to get some sugar.  Guess what - it seems 2 pound boxes of sugar have gone the way of the dinosaur!  I had to buy 5 frigging pounds of sugar.  Do you know how long 5 frigging pounds of sugar will last me?  Probably 20 years.  And why, oh why, did I buy more flour at the same time?  I have a TON of flour at home...

So, I go to put away the sugar and as I'm rummaging around at the top of the cabinet to make room for it, I find the sugar that I could NOT find the night before.  Several choice expletives later, I measured out less than 1 cup of sugar left in the tattered bag, so I didn't feel quite so stupid for buying new sugar.  No excuse for buying yet more flour, though.  I now have nearly 10 pounds of flour, and that will last me 40 years, probably.   As you have no doubt surmised by now, I sure ain't no baker! 

Out came all of the ingredients.  The bananas looked strange after having been refrigerated - they looked kind of like dark brown jelly, and the butter just did not want to cream with the sugar and it came out all lumpy, and I gave up trying to use the pastry cutter to do the creaming and went back to my old method of whipping things up with a fork.  In the end, the banana bread turned out well and I love it with my morning coffee:


And for one evening, at least, the house was filled with the delicious aroma of baking banana bread!

For anyone interested, here's the recipe for Kona Banana Bread:

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup mashed ripe banana
1 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
3/4 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream shortening and sugar until light.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Stir in banana.  Stir together dry ingredients; add to banana mixture.  Mix till well blended.  Pour into greased 9x9x2 inch pan.  Bake at 350 degrees 30 to 35 minutes.  Cut into squares.

I always add chopped walnuts because I love them. 

Crazy Weather/Pretty Pictures

Hola darlings!  I can't believe it's already been over a week since my part of SE Wisconsin got some wet heavy snow, about 9 inches or so piled up in my driveway which seems prone to drifting.  We had been getting dribs and dabs of light, fluffy snow nearly every day for 3-4 days, thanks to Alberta Clippers from Canada, but I was able to sweep that snow off the front stoop and driveway to get down to the road with no problems.  Not so the heavy wet stuff. 

Anyway, it sure was pretty around here for a couple of days.  The temperature did not drop to blistering cold and there were no winds to speak of, so the snow that had coated trees and shrubs throughout the area stayed intact for two-three days!  It was beautiful.

After returning from my usual Saturday hike to and from the Pick 'n Save a week ago, I pulled out my camera to take pictures about 11 a.m., just in time too, because shortly afterward, a wind sprang up from the south and within a few hours the snow was all blown off the trees and shrubs!

Backyard looking southwest

Backyard looking northwest

Front yard view from the road toward my backyard (Maison Newton on the right)

A few toward the east on Leroy Avenue, a few steps away from my house
It was pretty, so pretty, and the weather was mild for this time of year.  Most of the snow melted and it's turned cold again (going down to zero at night).  I am hoping we do not get any more "big" snow.  Ha ha!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Think Spring! Pastel Fashion Jewelry and Accessories

Hola everyone!

I am sooooo glad today is Saturday.  It was a very long, hard, cold cold cold week here in SE WI.  I might be getting acclimated though (finally).  Up until a few weeks ago, it had been an extremely mild winter, very little snow around here and moderate temperatures (for us).  But then those damn Canadians up north had to export some of their cold air to us, yep, I swear they just did it to be mean!  Even though the wind chills have been well below zero I made it to work every single day, and did not experience the breathing difficulties I had on January 21, that made me stay indoors on the 22 and 23!  I hate giving up my precious time off days just because I can't breath outside.  Geez. 

Yellow carbochon  and gold medal stretch bracelet

Yellow silk/cotton blend, 6 ft. long
infinity scarf

Crazy damn weather.  Was it just Tuesday we had a near record-breaking high of 60F, and 20 below zero F the next night, but not before we had a doozy of a thunderstorm, with lots of thunder, lightning, and nearly 2 inches of rain over a 24 hour period.  Now that's a bitch from Mother Nature and that's no lie.  I HATE THIS FRIGGING CLIMATE!

It was supposed to "warm up" this weekend, and we may even get up to 17F today, woo woo!  Right now it's calm, but it's snowing.  Damn!  Got about 2-3 light, fluffy inches of the white stuff last night, another inch is supposed to fall today, another inch tonight, another inch tomorrow, another inch Monday.  Yep, it's a snowy and slow death by inches.  I'm not supposed to shovel, but what the hell am I supposed to do?  I live alone, that's a fact, Jack, and I do take it easy.  I'm not clearing out my entire driveway like I used to (and all those years I was thinking it was good exercise, HA!), now I only clear a decent path so I can get from the front porch to the road.  Anyway, if I don't get a path cleared right after it snows, when will I ever get a path cleared? 

Pink carbochon and gold bead stretch bracelet

Pink/white butterfly print
6 ft. long scarf

And my blasted patio door is frozen shut!  I tried the WD 40 in the track trick - didn't work.  Sprayed the WD 40 all the way around the door, and the sprayer thingy stopped working and I am hacked off because there is still plenty of WD 40 in the can -- I can feel it when I shake the can!  Geez Louise, cheap SOBs cannot even make a decent spray can anymore.  Probably made in a slave labor factory in China.  Anyway, looked up on google "how to unfreeze a patio door" and I'm not supposed to use water (that seems counter-intuitive anyway since it was water that caused the problem in the first damn place!), am not supposed to use a hair dryer (wouldn't work with me anyway as I'd probably have to stand there for who knows how long and I just won't waste that precious time trying to thaw out my patio door).  So, guess I'm stuck until we get another 60 F day, sometime in May.  I've been using the garage service door to get to the backyard to put food out for my critters. 

So, it's moderately "warm" today, I shoveled out a path, took my heart pill, I sat down here slightly after 9 a.m. to continue my unending love affair with my trusty old Toshib lap-top and I will go to the store after it stops snowing out there -- I hate being smacked in the face with blowing snow!  Again it's the light fluffy kind.  That's sort of a curse, you know, because when the winds pick up later on, which they are forecasted to do, all my shoveling work will probably be in vain, that light fluffy crap will blow all over the place. 

Purple, turquoise an clear rhinestone stretch bracelet

Purple, teal and pink cotton/rayon
"Mayan Print" 6 ft. scarf

Okay, enough bitching and moaning.  I really do not feel like doing a blessed thing today, but later on I will trek to the Pick 'n Save; I must take apart my bare nekked Christmas tree and wrap it in it's sheet and haul it out to the garage until December, and I am finally going to pull out my super-duper ultra-heavy down J.C. Penney's red floral print/red-white-black check comforter and wrestling it on to my bed, in the hope that this sheer act of muscle power will scare away that nasty Canadian weather!

But, before I do any of that, I want to pass along to you some really cute/pretty things I window-shopped at Sam Moon on line.  The colors are bright and cheery and remind me of wonderful spring to come.  Well, usually Wisconsin springs are not so wonderful, they are cold and crappy until one day it hits 90 and it's summer for a week or two, and then we finally et a few decent weeks of weather in September.  LOL! 

All of the cute and colorful things above come from Sam Moon online and are all priced under $10, many under $7.  Sorry, I did not provide links to these items, cost or even much of a description.  I was just window-shopping!   These items caught my eye, but one could spend hours looking at Sam Moon's website, there is so much there!  I was thinking how much just one bracelet and a coordinated scarf could brighten up a basic black work outfit. Add a little wrist-strap bag or wallet/clutch for even more color pop (all from Sam Moon, priced under $12):









Okay, time to get to work around here...