November 12, 2017:

Hola!

It's hard to believe, but winter has arrived early in my hometown. One week it was in the 70s and gorgeous outside, the next week it dropped down into the 40s and then boom, less than a week later, into the 30s. We've already had several hard freezes, the earliest that's happened since I moved here in 2014. Anyway, the trees had not even begun to turn color yet in the neighborhood - and now most of them are bare due to the many hard freezes and strong winds that blew most of the days last week. Wowsers! Today, however, the sun stayed out all day, there was no wind to speak of, and the temperatures felt positively balmy outside. I was very glad because I had to be out and about today.

So, the poor trees did not have a "fall" this year but we did get enough rain to ease my mind that my pines and shrubs will have enough moisture in the ground to survive the winter. The squirrels are SO fat and SO furry, I can't help but think they know we're in for a bad winter. Sigh. I'm way behind in everything including lots of garden clean-up that now I won't get to unless we get a few days of "Indian Summer," which doesn't seem likely this year. I did, however, get everything outdoors pretty much put away, except for the area rug (it needs to be "washed" with some soap and rinsed off) and the mosquito net curtains on my Shezebo. Now I'm already thinking about Christmas, and soon it will be here, before we know it! So, I figured it's about time I put up my "autumn" photographs from prior years as the seasonal header here at Maison Newton. Enjoy your Thanksgiving, that will be here soon and then it's into full-tilt Christmas decorating. Take care, everyone!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

FRAUD ALERT! Bogus Charge Using My Debit Card to Checking Account by HOTELS.COM

Hola darlings.  I try not to cross post to Maison Newton from my other blog, Goddesschess.  They are two such entirely different worlds!  But sometimes, bad things happen, and I want to ALERT you to a bad thing that happened to me just yesterday/today.  So please read this:


As you know, I was on vacation for a short while. I returned home the evening of April 26th.

Lo and behold, this morning, I discovered a charge posted to my checking account for $534.60 by HOTELS.COM US 800-219-4608 WA 04/28. ON MY DEBIT CARD.

The problem is -- I did not book my hotel through Hotels.com; I did not book anything through Hotels.com. The amount that I paid for my hotel room (booked, incidentally, directly on the hotel's own website), was much much lower, and I paid for my room at check-in with a CREDIT CARD.

I called my bank immediately upon discovering this bogus debit charge. But before I did that, I called the "800" number embedded in the debit information and this was what I heard: We're sorry. The number you have called is no longer in service. Please visit out website." CLICK. Dial tone. No website url given on that recording, OF COURSE.
I knew at once I had been victimized by a thief or gang of thieves. How they got hold of my debit card number, I have no idea, because I do NOT use it to buy airline tickets, book vacations or make hotel reservations.

After explaining what had happened to a very helpful bank representative, I was waiting for a call back and I went directly to google.com and typed in the HOTELS.COM US 800-219-4608 WA on the search bar.

Immediately I discovered hundreds of reports of FRAUD, some outright fraud with unauthorized charges on debit cards and credit cards, some where unsuspecting consumers had booked hotel rooms with hotels.com only to arrive at their destination and discover that no such rooms had been booked. And lots and lots of other stories, too.

Within 30 minutes or so I received a call back from my bank rep and later, an email, indicating that my "claim" against the charge had been granted and my account would be credited for the full amount of the debit.

So, please BEWARE! And this is a lesson to me to check my online bank account and card activity EVERY SINGLE DAY. Cuz, darlings, I wasn't looking for this, I was just looking to confirm the deposit of my paycheck today. HOLY HATHOR!

P.S. The thief or thieves struck again today, but this time posting a debit for a mere $1 charged to POS DEBIT HOTELS.COM US 800-248-8357 WA. My bank representative told me that this is often done by legitimate companies to "test" that the card information is legitimate, and once confirmed, the charge is "erased." That being said, it is also done by fraudsters to make it appear that the other charge(s) submitted are legitimate! That telephone number was ALSO "no longer in service."

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Breakfast in Las Vegas...

Hola darlings!

I am back home from three wonderful days in Las Vegas.

Whew!  What a whirlwind.  I have lots to write about, don't know if I'll get to it all, but it sure was fun showing Thelma around for her very first visit to the city that is my #1 place to go for a great short fantasy get-away. 

The weather was so perfect in LV for this waterlogged Milwaukee girl!  Arrived in LV on Tuesday March 23 to sunshine, a few horse-tail like clouds in the sky, low humidity and about 83 degrees F, after nearly two solid weeks of unrelenting darkness, gloom, cold and rain rain rain here!  Flash floods warnings were all over the place in Wisconsin, up north (unofficially defined as any place north of Milwaukee 100 miles or more, LOL!) got SNOW - lots of SNOW!  Awful awful awful. 

I want to talk about breakfast in Las Vegas - specifically, my breakfasts in Las Vegas.

These days, as I continue to educate myself on the importance of proper nutrition in aiding weight management, I try for a good balance among carbs, fiber and protein.  I don't always do that in practice during the harried work week, but when I'm on vacation, I go for it because I've got the luxury of time (and someone else making the actual meal) do to so.  And the good habits do carry over for awhile, at least.

If you are familiar with Las Vegas, perhaps you have heard about a restaurant that has achieved iconic status in LV:  The Peppermill!

It is just to the south of the Riviera Hotel complex on The Strip in a stand-alone restaurant -- a rarity these days -- and kitty-corner from Circus Circus, which is across the wide roadway.  I am not sure, but my guess is that the Riviera and Circus Circus are the oldest remaining intact hotel complexes still existing on The Strip.  So much has changed since 1979, which was the very first time I ever step foot LV.  Sigh.

But the Peppermill is still there and, judging by the number of people coming and going as Thelma and I enjoyed our breakfast there on Wednesday morning (April 24), it is as popular as ever!  That makes me very happy.  The food is great.  Yes, the prices have risen over the years - what hasn't?  Generally speaking, though, lower than average elsewhere at the hotels on The Strip.  Everything I've ever eaten at the Peppermill has been and continues to be cooked perfectly to order.. I'm very fussy about my scrambled eggs being cooked 'loose,' for instance, and although I am generally loathe to send a dish back or complain because I appreciate how hard these people work to try and please us, I've never had a complaint, not even a miniscule one, about any dish I've had at the Peppermill.  Value-wise, best on the Strip, to my knowledge.  Be careful what you order, because the portions are so generous, unless you have a lumberjack appetite you will be leaving food behind or taking it to go, and good luck with that because the vast majority of Las Vegas hotel rooms do not have a fridge and microwave to allow you such a luxury as keeping left-overs for later! 

The staff is - wonderful.  The bussers are discreet and uber-efficient. The wait-staff are pros but friendly and homey, and just make you feel comfortable right away. These people know there stuff!  The decor is - purple and pink and green and very 1970's and I luv luv luv it!  Immaculately clean and well-maintained.  Best hash browns I've ever had -- perfectly cooked -- tender, juicy, not overdone, or mushy (underdone), with just the right degree of "brown-ness" on the outside.  And not greasy. YUM!  How the hell do they do that???

These days my appetite is not what it used to be.  I get filled up quickly and ordering a $12.95 gigantic plate of food I cannot possibly eat is a waste of money for me.  Fortunately, The Peppermill offers an excellent ala carte menu and I can build a meal that I know I will be able to eat with pleasure because it won't be too much, so I won't feel as if I'm wasting food (hey, I am a child of two parents who were raised during the Great Depression, and it left its mark on them, and they have left their marks on me) and I am happy with the prices of the individual selections, too. 

Normally, darlings, I do not have a cocktail first thing in the morning with my breakfast.  But this particular day, with this particular travel companion, I thought - what the hell.  And so when the cocktail waitress came around and offered some suggestions, I ordered a non-spicy Bloody Mary and, to my delighted surprise, Thelma ordered a Mimomsa! 

Our meals were perfectly cooked and delivered.  Wish these photos did justice to them:



Thelma ordered a feta cheese and veggy omelet which comes with a side of your choice, she chose has-browns, and her Mimomsa drink which, as you can see, she had made some inroads on while we were waiting for our meal to arrive...

And I ordered this --


-- aforesaid non-spicy Bloody Mary (as you may be able to deduce by the markedly decreased volume of liquid in the glass, I was happily sipping inroads to my drink while chatting away with Thelma as we waited for our entrees to arrive).  Our dishes arrived piping hot and done to perfection.  I ordred ala carte three soft-scrambled eggs (did I mention that they were perfectly cooked? Because they were perfectly cooked), and hash browns -- look at them - hey, what can I say, I'm salivating just looking at this photograph I took -  woo woo!

Left nary a bite-size morsel on my plate.  Thelma polished off most of her somewhat larger meal, too.  Well, she's still a growing girl, what can I say - and she's several inches taller than I am and uses a lot more energy that I do - she's like following a whirlwind around, that girl!)  Thelma and I left the Peppermill happy and full, and nodding to each other that we will be back again, soon.

P.S.  Shortly after I took this photo, a couple were seated at the table that you can see at the top of the photo, above.  She was definitely American, he was definitely European. I wasn't eavesdropping on their conversation, but sometimes you overheart snippets of conversation... her accent was American with a slight hint of Latina, and his accented English was German, I think.  What can I say?  Hey - Las Vegas - universal city.  That's one of the reasons I love visiting there.  Not to mention, but here I am doing it anyway, that the Peppermill was Mr. Don's favorite place to have breakfast after I took him there for the first time in November, 2003 and several visits thereafter. Going there again after his passing away last October brought back many fond memories, as well as making new ones.  So I was sad/happy at the same time.  

I did not take photographs of the other breakfasts I had during this Las Vegas dash (April 23-25, left at 1:55 p.m. April 26).  Ech of those breakfasts in their own way, were just as good!  But I'm tired now, it's been a long day and it's 12:13 a.m. Milwaukee time early Saturday morning.  More tomorrow.

Here is a photograph I found of the Peppermill from Planet 99 online, taken, I believe, in January, 2003.  Oh, the memories!  The Peppermill is still the same but the background to the southeast no longer exists...  The Encore and the Wynn are there now in place of the torn-down buildings that used to be there:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

That Fettucini Alfredo Recipe...

Hi everyone!  Happy Saturday to you. 

The sun is FINALLY out here!  Yesterday we had snow, rain, sleet, hail, spit ball snow (the stingy kind of little pellet snow) and strong winds - gusting up to 40 mph.  The clouds were scudding by so quickly, blowing out over Lake Michigan; sometimes gloomy and dark, sometimes bright deep blue sunny patches of sky. All happening in super-fast motion!  The weather was absolutely nuts yesterday.

Today it's cold - cold - COLD!  I woke up to 27 degrees F at 6:30 a.m.  Brrrrr!  So on April 20th I'm still running around in winter coat, scarf, and mittens.  But at least the sun is out today, thank Goddess!  The sky is mostly clear, and a rich sky blue/robin's egg blue, with a few white fluffy clouds.  After nearly two weeks of buckets of rain and constant gloom and bone-chilling cold and dampness, I am sooooo looking forward to Las Vegas.  Current temperature there right now (2 hours behind my time of 10:49 a.m.) is 62 degrees, with an expected high today of 82 degrees, and zero per cent chance of precipitation.  Wooo wooo!

Last night I made up that fabulously easy recipe for home-made fettucine alfredo.  I thought I had posted the actual recipe I used, but nope, I provided a link instead to the website where I found the recipe.

I have made the recipe several times since discovering it at Love, Pomengranate House -- actually it is part of a recipe for fettucine alredo and parmesan chicken that looks as delicious in the photographs at LPH as it sounds.  I extracted only the recipe for making the alfredo sauce:

  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese

  •       2 tbsp butter
    1. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a medium sauce pan. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add heavy whipping cream and bring to a low simmer. Add 1 cup parmesan cheese and stir until incorporated and melted.
    2. Add cooked pasta to alfredo sauce and mix until pasta is covered.
    This recipe makes enough for one pound of cooked fettucini pasta, way more than I need for feeding myself.  So the first time I made it, I cut the recipe into 1/4 -- using 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, with about a teaspoon of garlic powder (I cannot eat raw garlic, not even sauteed - gives me heartburn), and 1 teaspoon butter.  Worked like a charm.

    But I noticed that sometimes when I made it after that first successful try, my sauce "broke," especially noticeable as it would cool down from cooking temperature.  Didn't know why.  Then one day a few months ago I was watching Cook's Country on PBS and this exact issue came up!  The way to prevent the sauce from breaking is to add cornstarch!  Evidently there is a chemical reaction that occurs among the butter, cheese and cream that may cause it to break -- something to do with how molecules clump together -- but adding cornstarch prevents this chemical reaction from occurring by coating the molecules with the cornstarch that prevents them from clumping together.

    The next time I made up this recipe I pulled out my cornstarch and added like 1/4 teaspoon.  It worked like a charm!  Absolutely no clumps, no breaking in the sauce.  The cornstarch did not affect the texture or the flavor of the sauce, either.

    So, that's a tip from me via Cook's Country -- if you make this recipe, add some cornstarch to it.

    Last night I made a half-recipe and added about a teaspoon of cornstarch.  My sauce did not break, turned out perfectly.  This has turned into one of my favorite recipes - so easy and quick to make and absolutely delicious!  The sauce comes together so quickly that I make my pasta first and then put it on the side (off heat but still in the water) and only drain the pasta when the sauce is just ready to be added to it! 

    Salt isn't needed -- there is plenty of salt in the parmesan cheese.  But I do add a sprinkling of black pepper.  YUM! 

    Amazing Chandelier and Vegas Update

    Hola from Las Vegas!

    Check out this absolutely incredible gorgeous chandelier from the Henri Bendel shop at the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace:


    It is a beautifully decorated and arranged show case for Bendel wares.

    Thelma and I are having a great time. The weather is perfect!  In the 80's, sunny and dry dry dry!  We've packed in a lot already and still more to come.  Tonight we are going to see a show at New York New York, tomorrow Thelma booked a half-day tour of Hoover Dam.  Today we discovered at the Fresh shop in the Forum shops at Caesar's Palace that they are offering a 60 minute facial for $50 which can be applied toward the purchase of any of their products.  Now is that an absolutely amazing offer or what?  I am seriously thinking about it and having that facial I've always wanted to do here rather than spending the money to go see Rock of Ages.  Or maybe I will splurge and do both.  Despite bouts of shopping the only things I've purchased were refills on my Bare Escentials mineral make-up and Prime-Time Primer during a stop at Sephora. So I have spending money left over, darlings :)

    This morning I introduced Thelma to the awe and wonder of L'Bri's Gentle Facial Peel, which is 100% natural ingredients and uses fruit enzymes to gently lift dead skin cells away from the surface of your face, leaving skin baby smooth and soft soft soft!  She doesn't have fine lines and wrinkles yet but I do, and I swear by this product for making me look much younger than my years.  It encourages the growth of new skin cells in skin of all types and ages.   I showed Thelma how I give myself a facial every few days with my L'Bri products and she too used the facial peel as well as the moisturizer afterward.  Then I gave Thelma a couple of lessons on how to use primer and apply mineral make-up, since she has always used liquid foundation (which was not really working for her skin type and causing break-out issues).  She has never heard of primer until I told her about it yesterday and so I gave her a quick run-through on what the product is and what it does and we picked out a product for her to try. 

    The proof is in the pudding, at the old saying goes.  After we breakfasted at the iconic Peppermill (Thelma loved the place), we spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon at the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace and had a good girly time window shopping and I even got Thelma to try a few items on at H & M, but she thought they didn't suit her.  She didn't show me what they looked like when she tried them on -- my guess is that she looked fabulous and sexy and young and it startled her a little.  She is very conservative in her tastes. 

    We didn't get back to the hotel until close to 2 p.m. local time.  Right now we are taking a little alone time.  Thelma is at the pool, I am staying out of the sun with my sensitive old skin and catching up a little on my chess games, blogging a little, and clearing mountains of emails!  I never knew I was so popular :)  Anyway, about that pudding -- Thelma's make-up was still perfect even after all our activity this morning and being in and out of the sun walking and all the wandering around the shops.  She was just amazed and very happy!  I am sure she thought I was exaggerating when I told her that I loved my mineral make-up and it was the best thing (aside from L'Bri's gentle facial peel) that ever happened to my face.  Now she knows better.  There was no clumping or smearing make-up, no build-up of makeup on her cheekbones where her sunglasses sit, no discoloration due to excessive oil formation (a natural skin defense against irritation) affecting pigments in the make-up and interacting with the chemicals in the liquid foundation.  Liquid make-up was not kind to Thelma's skin type, nor was it to mine after I went through menopause.  Mineral make-up is probably the answer, and I am sure she will be able to quickly master the techniques I showed her for applying it.  I expect many of her skin issues will clear up too, now that she will no longer (hopefully) be using harsh chemicals on her face and over-stimulating oil production.

    Am now pondering what outfit to wear to the show tonight.  You are not going to believe this, so I'm just going to tell you about it.  I remembered on Monday night while I was packing my suitcase a pair of dressy silky feeling slacks that I wore years ago, before I started having weight issues.  I thought I remembered keeping them.  I dug through my storage and - sure enough - out came those slacks!  Wrinkled to be sure, but otherwise perfectly preserved.  And, guess what - they were a size 10.  I thought, no fricking way will these fit.

    Guess what - they did.  I gave them a quick launder and packed them.  They need to be touched up with an iron.  So now I have sexy silky slacks, woo woo!  No high heels to go with them -- will not even think about killing my feet and probably myself too trying to teeter around walking in those suckers!  I have decent dress flats that I brought along, so now it's down to deciding what top or tops to wear.  Should it be the lacy white sweater over the sexy spaghetti strap tank top that I would NEVAH wear anywhere else except here, in this city?  Or the pleated butterfly sleeve top that I bought a few years ago and wore in St. Louis for the cocktail party at the grand opening of the chess museum. Hmmm, decisions, decisions.  Right now got to get ironing and then jump in the shower.  Hair and make-up will be fully redone.

    Oh, hello - this is a self-photo that I took of myself in my room:



    Not a very good one but it will do, and no, I am not having a baby.  That would be the most miraculous conception since the Virgin Birth.  Just the way the blouse looks - I didn't think I looked that broad and poofy in person, geez!  Time to get off this plateau weight and shed more pounds...

    Monday, April 8, 2013

    Need Help Picking Out New Lampshade

    Hola darlings!

    I'm being a bad girl today, playing hookey from work.  It's yucky cold raining cats and dogs out there and when I rolled over this morning a few minutes before the clock radio clicked on I groaned and pulled the quilt over my head.  I knew I was not going anywhere today :)

    As you may know, I've been procrastinating like the dickens in the redo of my family room, which was started last year and has pretty much stalled as far as major progress -- meaning, the wallpaper has not been stripped, drywall patched where it came off with the stubborn paper, walls have not been primed nor painted.  I get tired just thinking about it, yikes

    Well, I am shilly-shallying -- here's the thing.  I could not get that old teal lamp out of my head, it's been mouldering away in the basement forever and some months ago I pulled it upstairs when I did a blog post about how some folks are doing wonderful things with lampshade redos.  I inherited the lamp from one of my sisters ages ago, in the 1970s after she went in a new decorating direction and didn't want it anymore.  I've always loved the deep color (but never decorated with anything remotely close, so the lamp was usually banished), but was not a fan of the shiny aluminum-colored base and neck:

     
    Over the past few months, that silvery color has - not exactly grown on me (I'm a brass and gold gal) - but what I have come to appreciate is the design of this lamp.  Even though it is nearly 40 years old, it could comfortably fit into today's decors and it's color is spot on trend right now.  I love its shape, the shine, and the color, and it has great proportions, although perhaps the harp is too tall for it's size (it's about 9" tall) and today's styles.  So, going in the new direction that I intend for this back part of the house - celadon - and my celadon turning instead into an adventure of tints and tones of turquoise and varying shades of blue-green (I'll write about that some day), I resurrected the lamp from the basement last weekend and plopped it on the black laquer console table which I no long want but cannot afford to get rid of, LOL!  And I - liked it!

    It's difficult to get a photo of the precise color of that lamp base!  It changes, depending upon the light of the day, and the camera settings:


    The top photo is closer to what I see as the lamp's true color, which is a deep teal; in the second photo, the lamp appears more blue than it does to my eye.  The second photo does show you the "mottling" of the finish, and the glaze has a crackled finish.  I don't remember now if it was always that way, or it has just crackled over time...


    In the third photo, you can see the crackled glaze as I was trying to get a close-up view of the mottled finish.  It's a shiny lamp, not matte.  It really has grown on me :)  The color about mid photo is pretty close to what I see when I'm looking at the lamp (like now).

    Get this - I still have the original lamp shade!


    The shade in the first two photos I borrowed from the tall cream-colored lamp that was on the table before; I've had a pair of those lamps from the late 1990's I think (Penney's) in this room.  One is now in the basement in storage and the second one has been moved to my much-neglected study/den upstairs. And notice how in this photo the lamp base appears to be yet another color than in the first three photos!  This photo was taken a little while ago, during the day, with natural light pouring in through the window overlooking my backyard, despite it being a dark rainy day, and using the normal setting on my camera.  The base looks almost royal blue, but that is not its color at all!  The color at the top of the lamp, where the light is shining, that is much closer to its true color. 

    I like the shape of the borrowed shade but the size just does not seem right, and that shade suffers from the plastic under-shade's interior turning an icky yellow, which I hate.  Still, I found it an improvement over the original shade (photo above), which just doesn't seem to "go" with the style of the lamp.  I can't put my finger on what it is that bothers me about this shade.  The color maybe?  The proportions?  It just reads "grandma" to me.  And the shade has some issues; it has accumulated dust/grime from all these years and I don't know if it can be safely cleaned some other way if vacuuming doesn't work; there are some crimps (dents) here and there in those pleats as well, where the shade was pressed against something or other all it's years being stashed in one closet or another.  In a few places, the material has "delaminated" away from the plastic shade.  The worst part, though, is the color the inside of the plastic shade has turned - a dingy yellow, like it's been inside a smoker's house for 40 years!  Not true! 

    I figure the easiest thing to do is just get a new shade, if I can find one I like that is a good match for the base.

    And therein lies my dilemma, because I just can't figure out what might look good.  I can recall only one occasion when I purchased a shade separately from a lamp base, and that didn't turn out well.  I've ALWAYS bought lamps with shades already on them.  So I'm totally clueless when it comes to trying to pick out a new shade.  EEK!  It probably would just be easier to buy an entirely new lamp.  For instance, here's one from Penney's (my go-to place for lamps):


    This "light turquoise double gourd" lamp plus textured-looking (linen) shade is a mere $35.  Geez, I could easily pay that alone for a new shade, maybe even more -- and so then what would be the point, I ask you!  This lamp's dimensions:  13x13x25" H. Cotton/polyester shade is 10"H with 13" bottom diameter and 11" top diameter (semi-drum shape).

    Eh, I should give some dimensions.  MY lamp is about 16" tall from base to the base of where the harp starts, and the harp is about 9" tall, so altogether, around 25" tall.  The original shade measures 8 1/4" top diameter, is about 13" H and about 18" bottom diameter; the borrowed shade is 7" top diameter, about 12.5" H and about 20" bottom.

    Is a drum shade the direction I need to go?  I just LOVE the shade on this lamp - it's sexy, and am thinking something this shape would look great on my lamp:


    I found the lamp (above) at Bed Bath & Beyond, but it's a pricey $211.  That's half the cost of my upcoming trip to Las Vegas, people.  No way will I pay that for a lamp on my income!  The full dimensions of the shade aren't given, only that the shade is evidently 17" diameter, and it's appears to be the same diameter top and bottom. 

    I seem to recall reading at one time or other that the height of the shade should be about 1/3 the total height of the lamp; with my lamp being about 16" tall from base to the top of the neck, I think that would mean a shade no taller than 8" or 9", but beats me how I came up with that figure -- it just "feels" right.  LOL!  I long ago forgot all of my Euclidean geometry from high school :)  How do you get a third out of taking one-half of 16" (does not include the 9" tall harp)?  Half of 16 is 8, and 8 plus 16 equals 24, and 8 is one-third of 24.  Got that?  Okay, Einstein I'm not!

    I like the idea of exposing my lamp's sleep neck with a shorter shade and the look would definitely be more contemporary, but the height of the neck is only about 2 1/2", so the shade would have to be at least 9" tall to cover the harp.  Or I could replace the harp with a shorter one, a small but additional expense.  That $35 lamp at Penney's is sitting there laughing at me right now...

    Because I do not like the yellowing that occurs with plastic hard-backed shades, perhaps a shade made entirely out of fabric wrapped around a frame?  Proportions would be an issue.  What shape, and what size???

    Arrrgh, I'm getting a headache! 

    I like the idea of a square - pagoda (?) style shade, to contrast with the curvy shape of the lamp itself.  something like this:

    This shade is from Bed Bath & Beyond and measures  Measures 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" on top, 14" x 14" on bottom and 11 3/4" high, with a recommended harp height of 9 1/2".  It's ivory colored but the description doesn't say what kind of materials, or whether it is a soft shade or hard-backed!  The cost is $25 ($24.99).  The size is right for my lamp but would it look good?  Would hate to buy something like this only to have it not work out!  And the cost -- yep, that Penney's lamp is definitely laughing at me right now...

    I also quickly tried out one of the soft back circularbell-shaped shades from a lamp in my front room.  It fit very well.  I like the soft glow the soft-back fabric shades give at night. That circular bell-shaped shade is similar in size and shape to this one, also from Bed Bath & Beyond, but it is ridiculously priced at $30:

    Its dimensions are 8" on top, 17" on bottom and 12 1/2" high, not all that different from the size of the lamp's original shade, although the shape is different! 

    I don't know what style or size to choose. 

    And let's not even start about color!  White or off-white just looks blah to me, but that is what most shade colors are because, let's face it, those tones go with the most decors.  And a white or off-white would probably look great against my future-painted dark taupe walls.  But I've got this naggy little voice going on in my ear, driving me nuts, let me tell you!  It's saying that white or off-white (or varying shades thereof) just do not GO with that shiny silver metal base and neck.  Clash terribly, I think. 

    I'm not even going to consider attempting to paint the lamp and/or the base, that option is OUT.  The lamp is beautiful in its own right.  But my options are severely limited here.  If I get a shade to "go" with the lamp colors, what color do I choose?  something in silver (not a fan)?  Grey?  A more pale version of the teal color?  A color-dyed match -- har!  -- good luck trying that, Jan. 

    Well, now I'm thinking I just may banish this lamp back to the basement, and buy a new lamp, but it has to be the right color, and turquoise ain't what I'm looking for! 

    About now, banging my head against the back of my chair.  It's time for a nap.  The rain has stopped (finally) and it's brightening up outside.  And then - I have to at least START my income tax returns...

    Taste: Are We All Marching to the Forced Beat of the Same Drum?

    While reading the news about Margaret Thatcher's passing at The New York Times (one of my favorite sources), I saw and read this interesting article about modern taste and the seeming march of folks decorating their homes everywhere into mediocrity -- perhaps out of fear of being different?  Don't know, but it's a subject of deep personal interest to me.  See what you think:

    The Question of Taste