December 23, 2017:

Hola!

It's COLD here and getting colder by the day, brrrrr. By December 26th the high may be only 3 degrees above zero. Yuck! But it's nice and cozy inside, and filled with the scents and sights of Christmas and Yuletide!

Today I made a crock pot full of my easy-peasy Beef Burgundy, made with a soup can full of sweet red wine (to rinse out the soup can, of course), and four other ingredients: beef (this pot I used beef already sliced in the package for beef stroganoff, and then cut the long thin strips into bite sizes), a can of Golden Mushroom soup, an 8 ounce package of whole button mushrooms cut into halves and thirds (depending on cap size), and a packet plus a little extra of a second packet of dried onion soup/dip mix. I also added a generous helping of ground pepper, dried thyme and dried - and aged (a year and three months, yikes!) of whole basil leaves that I ground up in between my fingers. Then the pot cooked on the "low" heat setting for 4 hours, with only one stir half-way through. The scent permeated the house and even managed to waft out to the street - wowsers - guess I need to get some additional insulation in these 1956 walls! My mouth was watering by the time I made up my first dish (over on-purpose a bit dry mashed potatoes) and gobbled it down, then had half a second dish as well! Now I want a nap.

I have my dark chocolate covered Queen Anne brand cherries (a Christmas must!), Beringer White Zinfandel wine, plenty of new fuel for my gel fuel fireplace and a host of Christmas movies to watch. Best of all, Solstice is done and we had a bit of sunlight day, late this afternoon. Every day, although it is not noticeable right now, it will get lighter a few minutes earlier and the Sun will sink below the horizon a few minutes later each day until the Summer Solstice on June 21. The worst is over, except for the bitter cold of January and February. I think I will go visit my friend Isis in Las Vegas in March - that always perks me right up :)

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all, and may the Season's blessings shower you with good fortune for all of 2018.

Jan

Friday, April 8, 2016

Baseball Wall Finally Painted and Guest Room More Presentable

Hola everyone!  I know I left off in the middle of writing about all the rigamarole of updating my living room last summer, I promise I will complete that in the future -- hopefully the near future.

A lot has been happening around Maison Newton, many family-oriented matters, since last summer.

For various reasons, I wanted/needed to get the guest room, this one --

Sheet over curtain rod for "curtains," black "foam" thingies on the wall
(you can see the little black "dots" to the upper left) that would not
come off with regular scrubbing/fingernail treatment.


And, of course, the "baseball wall."  Painted stark semi-gloss
white, with red "seams" painted on it, inherited from prior owner.

-- up to snuff.  It's only taken nearly two years; I moved in on July 13, 2014 and here it is, April 8, 2016, and I finally got that damn ugly wall painted!

HOORAY!

But let me tell you, it was a major (and literal) pain in the neck, and it also kicked in my sciatica, all the climbing up and down the ladder to do the cutting in and cutting in and cutting in, never-ending cutting in (or so it seemed). OUCH!  I haven't painted a wall in probably 20 years, and it was a chore, believe me!