Friday, December 17, 2021


 Hello All!

Can you believe it? Christmas Eve is only ONE week away! I decided to go ALL out this year. This is the first time in decades I have all my Christmas decorations in ONE place. I perused all my dozens of plastic bins in all sizes along with countless boxes, and I have to admit, I was OVERWHELMED. Lol

But, after calming down and opening them up one at a time, I managed to separate them into decorations for each level (I have three levels in my home). I decided right from the beginning that I would put up three trees: one nine-foot in the entry (shown in the first pic), Another fuller, nine-foot tree for the living room, and a third, seven-foot pencil tree for the lower level. I started to take down my Thanksgiving decorations and pack them away the day after Thanksgiving. I have quite a lot of Fall decorations so it took me the whole day. Saturday, I began to open bins and bring down decorations for the table surfaces and fireplace. I thought it would be easier to do it this way than bring down the bins two flights from the attic and then lug the empty bins back up-they are still heavy even empty. Sadly, at some point, I had to bring down at least twenty of them: the ones that held the tree ornaments. 

By mid-week, I set up the trees. I usually don't put up my tree until December 15th, but since I had three of them to do, I had to start earlier. The Lower Level tree was a snap; it only took about four hours to do. I have a lovely brick 

wall the tree nestled into rather nicely. I decorated the remaining LL, which consists of the rest of this room, a dining area, a staircase, bathroom, and bedroom. Yes, I put a bit of Christmas in every room. But I will spare you the complete's a fourteen room house, plus a very large front porch (also decorated to the nines!). This will be my personal space for when I open up as a Bed and Breakfast in late spring.

As we return to the main level, the second large tree hold court in the living room. It has over 500 ornaments. Yes, you are reading correctly, lol. My whole life is represented on this tree. From my first ornaments given to me as a toddler, to my vast traveling, and finally purchasing a few new ones every year. In my teens, I made many ornaments with beads, pearls, and sequins on satin Christmas balls...remember those? They were so IN back in the early to mid-'70s. I pricked myself thousands of times on those damn straight pins. But, they lasted for forty-five years. EEK! Am I really that old? DON'T ANSWER THAT. Lol

This was a tricky shot to take. I wanted to get both tree into the picture. I managed, thankfully! The only thing missing is the roaring fire. Since this is a wood stove, the flames are not wonderful, but the warmth and the flickers of light does enchant one when having a brandy on a cold this one.

The next pic is a different angle of the living room. You can see the dining room to the left of the fireplace in the first LR pic. 

The one feature I love about this room are the front diamond-pained windows. A hundred plus years ago, craftsman took the time to cut each pane individually. That is a LOT of work especially since they are encased in wood lattice, not lead: much harder to do. The previous owners painted them white. ACK! After Christmas, I plan to restore them back to the original walnut stain which encases them.

This next pic is a closeup of the tree. As you can see ornaments galore! I also have dozens of glass icicles. They really make this tree sparkle! There is just one more room that I would to  share with you, the dining room. What is so nice about early twentieth century homes, they all had large dining rooms to sit and enjoy meals with the family and friends. Sadly, because of Covid, there hasn't been much use of it, but I do like to have a meal in there when I want a change of view from the kitchen island, where I normally dine. This room is the exact same size as the living room with paneled pocket door separating the two. I gather, that in the ninteen teens, the most like had a made or kitchen staff, as the family would "go through" into the living room, the maid would shut the doors and clean off the table. My, have things changed. I would kill to have someone clean for me and do the dishes. One thing I honestly do not like to do. I'm sure many of you agree! So, without further ado, here is the formal dining room. Up until a month ago, I had bare windows with only shades. It was time to hang up the silk drapes I made in 2004 for my Parisian-styled vintage condo in Chicago. It was an extemely elegant room. I even hung the same crystal chandelier in this massive room (15x25 feet). The room is much larger than it looks here. There is a large buffet on the right-hand side of the room.

I have the nativity on the buffet. You will see it in the next pic. I love this nativity because it is made of papier mache'. The details are incredible. I also used rafia for the straw and have wool lambs. It is a large set. The standing kings and Joseph are about fourteen inches. I kept this room more simple with just Santa and two reindeer on the table with candlesticks and lladro geese. A few poinsiettas on the top of the clock add some much need festive color.

The chandlier was my mother's. I have been cleaning it since she bought it in 1970. A long and funny story. Let's just say, Mom had to have it and it cost a weeks salary, in those days, that was INSANE. It has so many wonderful memories of my mom and family spending countless holidays and family dinners under that chandelier. I can't wait until we all could enjoy our lives again. I love to entertain and it truly saddens me that I can not entertain for this holiday season. I bought this house at the end of 2019... just as Covid began to show its ugly head.

Well, my dear friends, I hope you enjoyed my Christmas house. The final picture is the front of the house all lit up for a festive holiday season.

I would like to wish you all a HAPPY, HEALTHY, and PROSPEROUS holiday season and New Year! Keep safe my friends. You are always in my thoughts and prayers! 

Sending you all a great BIG virtual hug!!!! 


Wednesday, December 1, 2021



Happy December, Everyone!

Once again, it is time for another IWSG post! I am so happy to remember it is so early this month. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and the IWSG team for their loyalty and many hours of helping others with their writing and their insecurities. If you would like to join our group, please visit here.

I just LOVE this time of year. One can smell and feel the magic in the air around us. Many of us are frosted in a winter wonderland while others are in sub-tropical weather decorating palm trees into candy canes! 

So far we in NW IL are snow-free with beautiful autumn weather. Perfect for decorating the exterior of our homes without freezing to death. At least, that is my plan for this weekend. 

The holiday season is also a time to gather with family and close friends. Sadly, this year with a new variant of Covid many people will be apart from their loved ones. But, don't despair, we can still have gatherings via Skype and Facetime. It is certainly not as good, but you can still bake together, have a drink, and celebrate with one another.

I know many get anxious over the holidays because they can't find or afford the right gifts. The holiday isn't about going bankrupt or stressing out, it is a time for LOVE. One thing we did learn from this dreaded disease is that we must appreciate what we have and the special people in our lives. So put on your favorite holiday music, BAKE up some scrumptious goodies, sit by the fire, if you have one, if not, bath your home in candlelight. It's amazing how a few candles create such a soothing and beautiful ambiance. Perhaps, create a new holiday favorite drink... Mix ANYTHING with a bit of rum, cherries, cranberries, orange slices, and cinnamon. It doesn't take much to feel the magic. 

When I was in Colorado last week, I found this absolutely LOVELY bookstore. Yes, they still exist! I found the most charming items inside. Since I don't have children, I never had a copy of "Twas The Night Before Christmas." I found the most beautifully illustrated copy and treated myself to it. I can think of no other story to relax us into such a festive season. I just may read it to my fur baby, Hamlet ... Why not? I could start a new tradition!. I am sure there are many pet parents who may enjoy reading to their beloved fur children... I found in my experience reading out loud does have a major calming effect. 

I would also like to take this time to wish every one of you a Happy, HEALTHY, and Prosperous Holiday season. Enjoy your quiet time and be a peace. We all deserve peace after such a turbulent year.

Sending healing and warm hugs to you all~

And now, the final entry to this year's WEP entry of how Art inspires us... Please visit the others stories at the WEP website!

Tagline: Beauty is literally in the eye of the beholder...

In a forest glen, a sun-kissed waterfall twinkles and cascades over jagged rocks into a tranquil sapphire pool. Twin nymphs and several fairies glide along the surface, dancing to an unheard song. 

A flaxen-haired youth approaches and smiles a smile so captivating; the sisters stare at the handsome stranger. With each one of his steps the fairies sigh and beckon to him.

Curious, the flawless, blue-eyed naiads and several sparkling winged fairies edge the mirror-like pond. They flirt for the young man’s attention as he heads toward them. In a voice that can charm a spider into giving up flies, he introduces himself and asks about the exquisite beauty before him. 

“I have never laid eyes on such a heart-stopping scene.”

Swooning, the mystical ladies are awestruck. He meanders around the water’s edge, kneels, and gazes into pond. The stillness of the clear, blue water reflects every breathtaking detail.

Mesmerized, he stares into the liquid mirror. His breath escapes him. 

“Could this exquisite image be of me?” he whispers. 

The fairies zip over to him and tug at his hair, sleeves, and back. 

Ignoring them, he continues staring into his turquoise eyes framed by long, thick lashes. 

Hissing buzzes in his ears followed by assaults to his face. He swats his hand, making contact with several fairies who hit the ground hard. The others pick up the injured and fly away. 

Hungry and thirsty, he reaches into his canvas bag and takes out food and drink. Nourished, he stretches out and falls asleep.

Hours later, the luminous water nymphs return. They place beside him a goblet made of etched gold filled with sweet nectar. Clasping hands, they sink into the crystalline depths of the pond.

The warmth of the morning sun awakens the youth. Stretching, he sits up and notices the goblet. “How thoughtful.” He raises the cup. “To this enchanting place.” He takes a deep sip and an unnatural compulsion to view his image overwhelms him...

After three days of admiring his reflection, he passes. The fairies gather around him, tears flowing from their eyes. They sprinkle his body with glittering opalescent dust as the nymphs rise from the water, singing, their lyrical voices chanting their sorrow. 

A light breeze caresses the youth’s body and he dissolves into the earth in silence. 

The fairies gather as a burst of bright light and long spikes of emerald shoot from the ground. 

Between each spear, a delicate stem rises. A pearl-like bud forms and blossoms into the first Narcissus. Thousands more yellow and white trumpets announce their arrival and blanket the edge of the pond. A subtle scent perfumes the air as the fairies take flight.

The twins emerge and pick several blooms gently placing them in their hair. Once more, they begin to dance to an unheard song and the fairies follow suit…

All is tranquil forevermore.