My Favorite, Noel.

I decorate for Christmas.  

Some years, not a single soul sees it. Some years, maybe one or two or three tops.

But, that’s because I travel, and it really doesn’t matter. I do it for me.

I refrained for many years. I could only see painful reminders. I suppose if there was such a thing, I’d say my grief has matured.

One year, I decided I’d at least try. I went through the box and struggled through each memory. Then, I went to World Market and Target and Meijer and struggled through buying new non-traditional décor in fuschia pink and winter blue and brilliant 80’s lime-ish green.

I couldn’t bring myself to put up the unique partial tree that Jeff and I had marveled over. Imagine a fake three-foot fir in a wicker basket – neatly sliced in verticle half to allow for wall hanging.

We used it in the townhouse, much to Miss Fred’s annoyance. She’d sit near the wall and balefully mewl. I suspect she was either trying to convince the tree to come down and play or she believed her caterwauling would spur us into action and bring all the shiny things down to her level.

It seems every year, I’ve managed to find the baby-steps, bits and pieces strength to add another sentimental piece. At least that’s what my lighted, miniature, fake burlap sack ensconced pine tree is telling me.

These are a few of my favorite things:

The purple and gold swirl paint bulb Jeff made.

The beaded snowman pin that Jeff also made

A tiny box with a big message from my mother-in-law, Sally

The tree topper is a handmade ornament from Nannee Vincze

The paper folded pinecone is a purchase I made at a craft show from a couple who reminded me so much of us.

The glass chili pepper is part of a set of six I bought for Jeff the Christmas after our store opened.

The Frankincense, Gold, and Myrrh were a beautifully authentic biblical present to myself, and to others one year.

The Hershey kiss angel, by my best guesstimate, is somewhere between 20-25 years old – the result of a crafting episode with my sister-in-law.

The illuminated pine bottle was a gift this year from a friend who likes to call me ‘sis’.

The miniature Hannukah lamp was a gift from my mother that year we took her to Bronner’s. That is a story unto itself.

The nativity was my first, acquired the same year I purchased my condo.

The tatted cross is a gift that is a story unto itself, as well. A heritage heirloom I was astonished and honored to receive from a family that wasn’t mine to start with, but now completely is.

The Christmas Loon comes from the same family. No one has ever able to explain why, and the only thing I’ve found on the internet is a reference to the Loon being the state bird of Minnesota.

And I have no idea where the super shiny sparkly pine cone came from or how it landed in my Christmas storage tote, but… I like it.

All of this sits on the top of my living room hutch. There’s a lot of love crammed onto the four-foot-long top, which is conveniently completely Blu proof. He’s got jumping issues.

Happy Christmas from me. Repeating an adored adopted phrase, I’m the one who wants you to know – God loves you, and so do I. Noel.

Picture for the Week: 2019 12 24 Merry Christmas Noel jakorte

Furnished, Part 3.

The house in Adrian, was our first test of wills… as in “will we or won’t we?”

I said “yes” to Jeff a lot. I also said “no,” a lot. I said yes to some strange things and no to some very normal others. That was my young marriage my version of “give and take.”

Three bedrooms became an obvious master, a guest room and an office. Jeff preferred to turn the room closest to the guest bath into the office. I said, “No.” Explaining that the guest bedroom was situated in a small alcove and the bathroom was in that alcove, as well. Therefore, it made more sense to do it my way.

Jeff just shrugged and started lugging boxes to the right rooms. Truly, he didn’t really care which room would be what. Once the office was set-up he noted that the now office was really a bit bigger than the other room, received more natural light and said with a smile, “You were right.”

We were generously gifted a slightly used dark wood bedroom suite: bed base, bureau and mirrored dresser, which we loved.

My travelling bed, (the simple metal frame, box spring and mattress my parents made me buy), landed in the guest room

There was den on the backside of the house, and an awkward formal or semi-formal living room space inside the front door. The reclining couch went to the den. The slate tile tables originally went there, as well, but we quickly got tired of heaving the heavy rock coffee table out of the way each time we wanted to put our feet up.

For a while, our living room oddly consisted only of a coffee table and two end tables.

Prefab houses come pre-decorated. With the exception of the kitchen and what became the guest bathroom, the entire thing was carpeted in a shade of red that reminded me of the congealed mess after the first “Don’t be alarmed,” vein popping experience.

We chuckled that was our good fortune should there be any future incidences, but I really disliked it. I also disliked the maroon and various shades of blue wall papering, chair rails and curtains, and the only slightly matching pinkish and light-blue linoleum in the kitchen and the guest bathroom. The master bath was also wall-to-wall carpeted; same color.

I swore I would dislike that color scheme, forever. “Nah,” Jeff said. “You’ll get used to it, and then you won’t even notice anymore.” I was predictably skeptical.

Quote for the Week:

2017 03 07 decor disasters you will get used to it jakorte

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Bathrooms: Carpet, No

Noticing: Or, Not

Color: What Goes