Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Think my Ecosystem Just Changed

We have very high winds today. I came home from work to find Charter cable out and this in one of my gardens:

It's the top 15 feet or so of a scraggly pine.  I am thinking the area where it broke off , which is in the garden on the opposite side, will be getting more sun next year--that's a good thing in my garden.

I am so glad I did not succumb to Charter's mailing of low prices for their "bundle".  Every time we have bad weather, the TV, the telephone and the Internet is gone from those who have it (like my mother).  This is the second time in the last week that Charter has been out. It was over 4 hours last week--that's a long time to sit and do nothing! 

I would rather pay a bit more to have the Internet when the TV goes out.  At least I have something to keep me entertained as I wait for my laundry to get done.

It is a bit scary sitting here and listening to the howling winds. I hope an entire tree does not fall...there are a few that would fall right on top of the room I am now in. Some of you may remember a few years back when one of our trees fell over and landed right on top of our truck.........nearly totaled it........thank goodness for insurance!

Barring any falling trees, my Wednesday night plans are to sew a little on my latest blue jean bag, do another load of laundry and warm up some leftovers for dinner.  Not a terribly exciting evening, but it suits me just fine. 

update: 6:30 p.m.  I posted my progess on the denim/black vinyl bag on my other blog. Click this sentence if you are interested.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Felt Very Overwhelmed at Work Today

I had so many different important things that had to get done--early morning mandatory insurance meeting, weekly labor report to the Big, Big Kahuna at the home office (should have been sent yesterday, but I ran out of time), meeting with bride/groom and parents for a big January wedding after they have already informed me they can't afford the bar costs--required some pretty creative suggestions on my part to get to something they could afford, 100 people for lunch on the F&B Director's day off, a convention for 2011 that I turned down last week because they were too large, but our local CVB director asked me to send a bid anyway......just in case they were smaller.........that is like saying..."hey, can you waste an hour or more of your time to send room rates, meal quotes, and vendor set ups to a group that won't fit in your hotel?" Sure, no problem!

I was very happy for this day to end! Luckily, it all turned out pretty good...

I decided I deserved a little reward when I got home. . . so I poured a glass of Chardonnay and did a bit of shopping --- 25% off and free shipping....could not resist!

I bought three of the same belt in colors to match things I already own...a couple of bead ball necklaces to match the bracelets I bought last month...a green/black necklace because I wear a lot of green/black and really needed it!

See that big brown bangle bracelet on the bottom?  It is suede with orange/blue cool!

I am trying not to buy any  more clothes because I have no closet space for them.

I also felt like creating something ...... so I have started another blue jean purse with black vinyl accents... Here are the four blocks I made all sewn into one 8-inch block....

Not sure where I will go from here....but when I get it done, I will show you a pic.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Late Fall Color in My Garden

I came home from work and planted a few perennials that I had in containers and hoped to save for next season. As I was planting, I noticed quite a bit of color in my dying (just about all dead) garden.

The Burning Bushes are still providing a big splash of red in the front border.

Way in the back, I noticed this smoke bush that was such a pretty red. I really did not remember that the smokebush had such nice fall color!

My two smokebushes are still small and have not yet taken up the smoking habit.  I am much happier now that I know they also provide nice fall foliage.

This is the same bush which is planted close to a Golden Privet.  The Golden Privet is yellow in the summer, then changes to this nice burgundy in the fall.  I think they both go nicely with the moss-covered rocks and all the pine needles that fall this time of the year.

The mailman brought this Christmas magazine today.  I do adore Christmas issues of magazines.  This is one of the few magazines I still subscribe to.

As you can see I also received the 'FINAL ALERT' that my subscription is coming to an end.
I intend to let it expire. I find that the Internet now provides me with all the creative stimulation I can handle...and I don't have to wade through a dozen pages of advertisements to get to the good stuff. Although I am increasingly finding more blogs that are adding advertisements...everyone is out to make a buck. Still I am very annoyed when big ads runs across my screen when I click on a blog. I usually delete those blogs as soon as I realize the owners have "sold out". I guess I am one of the few who are annoyed as I see thousands of followers for these blogs.

Maybe they really do make a ton of money blogging. In that case, I guess I would do the same! Do any of you know anyone who actually makes a living blogging?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

BOGO boots

I had absolutely NO intention of buying two pairs of new boots today.  In fact my sweet husband is the one who wanted to go and look for a new pair of shoes.  Unfortunately he did not find any.

I, on the other hand, found two! I first saw these and thought how great they would be for my weekend boots. They have a nice heel and felt comfortable when I tried them on. They remind me of the boots I used to love in the early 1970's.

 Yeah, that's a pretty high heel, but they really did feel comfy on. I even put them both on and walked around -- not bad....Look how they lace up  on the front... back in the day we called them 'granny' boots.  I threw them in my cart.
 I think they will look nice with jeans, my green jacket and my Halloween shaggy bag.

 Then I noticed that they had a BOGO sticker on them. BUY-ONE-GET-ONE HALF OFF.

So if I found a second pair, it would be 50% off -- you can bet that I would be walking down every aisle to find something I wanted at half off!

And it did take every aisle.  I was pretty bummed, thinking that I was not going to find anything to take advantage of that discount and then in the last aisle, I found these:

Just what I need for work! Whoo-Hoo! Half off!  They are mine!!!

So I am pretty happy that after a weekend of hard work I am rewarded with these.  I just wish sweet husband would have found something.

We worked outside for about two hours today and got almost all of the containers put away for the winter.
We still need to haul the glass table down to the basement and cover all the wood items with plastic.  We leave those on the deck throughout the winter.

I made a big pot of chili and left it simmering on the stove all afternoon.

 As soon as I finish this post, I will make a spinach/chicken salad  to go with the chili and we will have dinner.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The cookies are done

I am a woman of my word.

At 5:30 a.m. I was preparing sugar cookie dough (2 batches) while my painter slept. I refrigerated it until early afternoon and then began rolling, cutting and baking.

I decided against the frosting--too many other things to get done today. So I just brushed the big cookies with egg white and sprinkled sugar on them.
Oh, and they aren't pumpkin-shaped either... I did not feel like pawing through my 135+ cookie cutters to find the pumpkin, so I took the first cutter I grabbed--a big scalloped thing--and I do mean BIG!
Here they are all finished:

My tall, skinny husband eats at least a half dozen cookies at a time (while I gain 5 lbs. just making them). If I make them this big, he only needs 2 or 3 to satisfy his sweet tooth. He has already had three and deemed them delicious, so all the work was worth it.

Since I am in the dining room taking pics, I took one of the new chandelier against the green walls and with the my century-old china cabinet I moved in. It used to be in the living room.

I decided to put this cabinet in the dining room because the mahogany finish is a pretty good match with the color of the chandelier metal. 

I also moved my Halloween decorations into the dining room (yes, this is the third place I have had this vignette).  My original intent was to use it on the table and to invite six of my inlaws to dinner, but  we never finished getting all the painting, etc. done in time to do a Halloween dinner. 

Still I wanted to do a mini version just for Picasso and me for tonight's dinner. So here it is:
I went to Joanne's when they opened at 9:00a.m. today to buy some magnetic clasps for my Halloween bag. While there I found these cute skeleton straws at 60% off, so I grabbed two bags of them (10 straws). I love to use straws.  DH probably won't use his, but it looks cute.

Last weekend at Joanne's I bought those tiny silver skeleton heads.  I also added the black cat to balance out the length of the table.

I have some pork chops in tomato sauce and Butternut squash in the oven right now. Picasso is taking a well-deserved nap. He finished the entire hallway this afternoon as I baked the cookies, cleaned up the baking mess, and worked on this table--some may think doing the table is not work, but it took me a long time--I just could not get it to look like what I wanted it to.

Hopefully tomorrow we can get outside and put the remainder of the tender plants in the crawl space for their winter hibernation. I had hoped to get that done today, too, but it is raining outside.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Oh, Please, Please, Can't I Paint, Too?

I got home from work today and Picasso, my dear husband, was just beginning to paint the hallway. I decided to keep it bright white because the living room green would be too dark. 

He did not even ask me to help!  I guess my poor painting technique in the dining room was enough to make him realize that I am best at coming up with the idea---not so good at making it happen! LOL.  After a 9.5 hour busy work day, I don't feel like painting anyway.  I would much rather sip my blueberry pomegranate juice and surf the decorating blogs.

We plan to stay home all weekend. By Sunday night I should have every room spic and span. It will feel good to get everything back to normal. I may even bake some pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies to reward Picasso for all of his work. Frosted sugar cookies are his favorite.

What do you have planned for the weekend?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Halloween Vignette Additions and a Halloween Shaggy Bag

How could I forget the "Boo" banner  & the round letters I made a few weeks ago? I added them to my Raven tablescape. You may notice that I moved the entire tablescape from the green wall in the dining room to the beige wall in the family room. I had to do that because the contractor had to come to fix the dining room chandelier after graceful husband hit his head on it and caused it to separate from the ceiling. We won't go into further details on that!

Last weekend I spent about six hours making myself a Halloween denim shaggy bag.  One side has a pumpkin:
 and one side has a witch.
It is a fun handbag for a fun holiday. I can't wait to use it!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Very Unique Halloween Decoration

"The Raven" is an 1845 poem by Edgar Allan Poe. It has always been a rather eerie poem, depicting a love gone wrong. A talking raven flies in and every time the distraught lover asks the raven a question, it says "nevermore".

I printed a bit of the poem from the Internet and used a Halloween spiderweb font.  I perched the black bird on the 1940's Remington 'Convoy' typewriter that my husband purchased at a garage sale about fifteen years ago.  We have never found a use for this old typewriter--until now.

I burned the edges of the paper to make it look old and  I added spiderwebs and skeletons.

I used a few of my recently silver-painted objects and ended up with this vignette.

Except for the gold candlestick that the silver skeleton is perched atop, I like this Halloween decoration.,  I may change that candlestick.

I wish I could take credit for this idea, but it was a blatant copy from this  creative blog that I found one morning this week.  I tend to surf around the net in the wee hours of the morning and I was checking out Halloween decorating  memes and came across this.  I think it is one of the  most unique ideas I have seen for the holiday.  Please go over and check out all of her great black/white decorating ideas---her old typewriter is way more cool than mine!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I Cannot Believe How Much Work it has been to get This House Back to Normal

We made a ton of progress today, but still have a ton and a half to do!

I had to work Saturday from 2:00 p.m. until about 7:15 p.m. While I was at work, Picasso  make that my dear, sweet husband, touched up all the paint messes I made near the dining room ceiling. I must say, it is so difficult to get a straight line up there! I am pretty sure I (unintentionally) messed it up so much, that I will never be allowed to paint again (oh, DARN!  :)  ).

Today we hung curtains, hauled furniture back into each room,  I washed the dust off everything, and tried to redecorate all the china cabinets.  I went down to the basement and brought up my old (1950's ?)  metal TV trays to use on top of 3 cabinets.

This is my largest cabinet against the new living room wall:

On the opposite wall of the living room:

and in the dining room:

This is the top of the curio cabinet also in the dining room:

I stacked the six green boxes that hold my dinner napkins next to the largest cabinet in the living room (which is right next to the dining room). I placed a live plant atop the boxes.

I used to have these boxes on top of the cabinet, but they were a pain to bring down to find the color napkin that I needed. Now they are easy access.

I really like my oil landscape against the green walls (in the living room).

 I mentioned how I wanted to do a Halloween dining table.  At the rate this is going, I may not get a table done.  So far the only Halloween decorating I have done is to put one black crow inside this lantern in front of the living room sofa.

Earlier this morning I went through my clothes closet and removed a lot of summer clothing--a big tote full!

I have an exact size tote full of winter jackets that need to go in the closet.  Unfortunately there is no room, even though I took all of this out. Right now the closet has just the right amount of space between hangers. I don't know what I will do with all those winter jackets.  I have resolved to STOP BUYING CLOTHES!  I have way more than I need.

I showed Sweet, Cheap Husband, the pics I posted of the green/red living room.   He did not seem all that enthused.  He said he likes it just the way it is.  Trying to get him into home decorating is like whacking my head against a concrete wall!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

There a Few Things I Enjoy as Much as Sinking into my Big Bed Each Night

I have a tiny bedroom with a huge king-sized bed.  The bed takes up most of the room.  I bought this house over twenty years ago as a single working mother and never expected to stay here more than a few years.  It's strange how Real Life leads one down a different course.  I fell for a cheap banker rather than a master carpenter who could have built me that huge master bedroom with double walk-in closets and a master bath full of windows where I could sit in the jacuzzi and  look out to my gardens.

After all these years (21) with my cheap  banker,  I have come to the conclusion that  my bedroom is never going to get any bigger...and that is now OK.  I would rather have the cheap ( now ex-banker), than the big bedroom.

I do, however, demand nice sheets for that big bed.  For a number of years, I have been sleeping on 1000-thread count sheets. They are quite wonderful. Even my cheap ex-banker has learned to appreciate a high thread-count sheet.  When we go to a hotel, he can tell the difference and is always happy to get home to our sheets. 

Every  few years , the sheets need to be replaced. That time is now.

 I just received the new set of sheets I ordered..........................1200-thread count!!! 

OMG, I can hardly wait to put them on the bed. I am expecting them to be so soft.. I am  expecting such sweet dreams...........

It is amazing how good a sheet can make me feel!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I LOVE this Color Scheme

so much so, that I have placed it on my desktop so I can see it every day.
My plan is to get rid of my very-gently-used floral sofas and make this my living room scheme. So far I have the walls and the ceiling color. I have no fireplace, but I can buy a faux gas fireplace in white that will work perfectly for me.  Can't you just imagine this room at Christmas time? -- catch me as I swoon.............

I also LOVE the color of this table.
I have made the background a similar green to my wall color. Do you think the aqua blue works with that grey-green?  Does the aqua blue work with the red living room?  Because my dining room opens right on to my living room--just a white beam separates the two rooms.  I am thinking it's a great complementary color scheme--at the moment it makes my heart sing!

 My plan is to paint my dining room table in this aqua color. I have wanted to paint my table for the past 10 years--original plan was white,but I have waited so long that I have outgrown the white--now I am in love with the aqua.  I think I would enjoy painting the table much more than I like painting walls.

My feeling is that the two work perfectly together--I am planning to do my sewing/computer room in aqua and red--aqua walls,barn  red furniture.

So many plans, so little time.

What do you all think? Am I crazy or do you think this will work?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tonight I cut down the Rest of the Container Plants

Since my only Pineapple Lily bloom still looked good, I decided to bring it inside. I stuck it in an amber vase and put it in the middle of the candy dish I got last week  from my retired friend.

I dug up the few cannas I had planted in the ground and tossed them in a box in the garage to dry out.

Then, as much as it hurt me to do so,  I cut down my lovely Mandevilla vine.
I would really love to save this vine for next year. But I am not good at saving things inside through the winter. I would have to put it in the basement and remember to water it all through the winter....all the leaves will fall off and make an incredible mess....the plant will probably get some kind of bug....aphids or I really want to do it? I cut it back and stuck it on the deck for now....

It already looks pathetic!  I will probably make a meager attempt to save it because it is not likely that I will be able to buy one next year.  In my small town we can never count on getting the same plants from year to year.

I will leave you tonight with a few fall color shots from my back yard.  
Standing on the deck:
 One of my burning bushes....they are the Grand Ladies of my fall color!
 Looking from the mandevilla vine just before I cut it down:
Looking from the dead hosta foliage in the milk can in the picture above:
Standing on the deck looking through the Buddelia.  Look how tiny the butterfly bush blooms are--just little purple nubs!:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thank Goodness 10-10-10 comes only once a century

This shirt only begins to show you what a miserable day it was.

After 10 hours of taping and painting, Tuesday's manicure is pretty much shot.

What a thrill is was to pull this tape off!
The thrill only lasted a few minutes because then we had to start the dining room....more taping....more cutting in.....we were both totally exhausted and could not wait to fall into the freshly laundered bed last night (yes, in between the painting, I washed sheets and even my pillows! I saw on MSN where pillows should be laundered, so I did. They came out quite nice, but each pillow had to be in the dryer for more than 2 hours)

The good thing is that I like the paint color. It is exactly what I thought it would be.

I bought two new lamps. The base is a close match to the metal of the dining room chandy.
 But what I really liked is the rectangular shade. I am not sure where these will end up.

Do you remember these skeletons from my Halloween table last year?

I decided that this year I want to do a more elegant Halloween table in silver and black, so yesterday morning I also painted the skulls...and a few other things I may use on the table...

I took this wreath right from the deck lattice and painted it silver, too.
I plan to do a table this week--as soon as I get up on the ladder and touch up the ceiling/wall line of the green paint. Right now I am waiting for the window man to come and change out  a defective window. The poor man is working very late today.

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