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

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Shezebo Coming Soon!

Hola!

Still alive, still here.  I have much to catch up on here and I will.  Just wanted to let you know that I purchased a "Shezebo" to anchor a chunk of my ginormous blob of concrete in the backyard.

I was inspired to call my gazebo a Shezebo because it will be my private get-away that will keep me safe from bugs (I'm one of those people with bug magnet DNA, sigh), and I think the FYE Network show "She Shed/He Shed" is so darn cute!  Lots of inspiration there for design ideas.

It should be delivered shortly after 4th of July.  Here's a photo, it's a 10x10.  For aesthetic/size reasons (in relation to size of house and size of yard), I didn't want to go with anything larger.  It will (as you can see from the sale image below) hold seating for 4 comfortably or a nice dining table.

It comes with mosquito screening and a second "rod" for privacy curtains -- but if I want to install them at some future point I will have to buy an extra "kit" of some kind of drapery hardware that goes on the rod during construction, because once the Shezebo is put together, there is no way to detach the rod to add a drapery.  Not sure I want to go that route.  I may just go with magnetic rods or velcro tape to hang future curtains.


I purchased it from Wayfair. It is Sojag's "Dakota" steel roof/aluminum body gazebo, something strong and sturdy to stand up to the winters in SE Wisconsin.  It is a permanent structure that will be anchored to my concrete patio.  I won't have to be messing with hiring somebody to put up and take down any covering(s) on a gazebo that is not a "hard top" every season.  I can't do it myself, nor would I want to even if I could!

Stay tuned.  I STILL want to show you what I did in my living room, and then what I did in Mom's kitchen - lots has happened.  I hope some sanity, peace and quiet (which I expected to have once I was retired, geez) will return to my life!