2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


Talent: Discovered

I had the most unexpected surprise in my Facebook newsfeed on Christmas Day. It turns out I am excellent at posting pretty little things that other people buy for their loved ones.

Heart Locket ClosedHeart LocketExhibit 1: Sterling Silver Anatomically Correct Heart Locket. I’ve seen this one in person. Absolutely stunning, and heavy! Worth every penny of its $310 asking price.

fluevogExhibit 2: Fluevog Operettas Brightman shoes, $289. Yes, they are pricey, but they are built to last. A. purchased this for her wife, K., and I was told that it made A. immediately more attractive and cured K.’s flu! Beat that!

Free BatesAnd Exhibit 3: Free Bates,$20.99.  Proving that while my tastes may be high-brow, they are not exclusively high-end, a t-shirt from the popular PBS show, Downton Abbey.  S got this for her husband, P, who made a handsome model on Christmas morning.

I didn’t get any of these gifts, mind you. Not a one.  Not that I was expecting any! I did get gift cards to Home Depot, Lowe’s and Ace Hardware, though, and those I will put to good use.  Let me know if you need help finding a gift though, because it would seem that I am your girl.

Nothing Scary…

My brother and his fiancee, who are nameless on here because I haven’t asked them if it’s OK to name them, wanted to see my house when they were down for Christmas.  I think the last time they were here was before I moved in and before ye olde stinky carpets were removed.  They were suitably impressed with the updates. 

Upstairs, my mom was eager to show off the tile work that was done when the master bath’s shower drain was replaced.  Matching tile is nigh impossible, but I think we found a great contrasting set of tiles to make the change look more like an upgrade than a repair. Mom agrees, and she was eager to show bro + main squeeze.  I was 99% sure that I had tidied up the bathroom before I left, but that 1% uncertainty was enough to have me asking my brother, who was the first into the tiny room, “There’s nothing scary in there, is there?”

He said, “No, not if by scary you don’t mean this 40 year old light fixture, the stock vanity that still has the manufacturer’s sticker on it, or this huge ugly mirror.”

Ha!  Don’t worry, he was impressed with the tile work. I must take pictures of the hideousness in that bathroom.  It is fairly low on the priority list, but he’s right, there are a real collection of dated and cheap things in there.  They will be easy to swap out, though, it’s just a matter of getting to them.  I might even take the mirror down early and just put up a nice HomeGoods decorator’s mirror instead. 

Right now, I’m saving to replace the carpet in the den (might not be too expensive after all), replace the six windows upstairs (bigger ticket project, and not a lot of fun as far as decor goes, really; hope to do this in 2013), and replace the six windows downstairs that aren’t bay/picture/sliding glass/in a door (hope to do this in 2014).  And maybe add in there changing the wood fireplace out for a gas fireplace.  I love the wood, but I’m learning that it’s actually pretty darn ineffective for heating your home.  I’d rather have a fireplace that will actually kick out some heat in a pinch, so maybe that’s a 2014 big ticket item, too.  And of course, in between there, there shall be much spray painting and hammering and suchlike.

Merry Christmas One And All

Another successful Christmas is in the bag. I failed s as a photographer because I was too busy enjoying myself and cooking, which is, perhaps, the best way to fail.  Mamacita que Bonita hosted and we split the cooking duties.  Brother and Fiancee joined us, bringing gifts, cookies, and one sparkly, magnificent engagement ring.  I really wish I had take a portrait of the four of us. Whoops.  Oh, and the granddogs went to Mamacita que Bonita’s house, too.  They supervised, of course.

Trader Joe's Wrapped Gifts at ElephantCulo.wordpress.comI saw this on Pinterest, and so I went for it. I cut up Trader Joe’s bags, which I had plenty of, and used them along with Raffia and Dollar Tree ornaments to wrap most of my gifts.  They were a big hit!

DSCN0058Mamacita que Bonita got a magnificent sparkly bauble from her sister in law from Tiffany’s.  The bar has been raised, folks.

Goose supervising gifts at ElephantCulo.wordpress.comGoose supervised my gifts.  She made sure none of them were edible. She also drooled all over my mom’s knees.  Charming, I promise.  That little box in the front corner is the sassiest red toaster ever.  His name is Arnold.  That little cocktail shaker in the other front corner was for Mamacita. She didn’t have one, and that’s Not Okay, especially for a woman as fond of martini’s as my mom is.  Brother and I solved that nicely this Christmas.

Maverick on guard duty at elephantculo.wordpress.comMaverick’s barks really echo with these hardwood floors at mom’s.  He was guarding us. From what, we don’t know, but he kept his post up diligently.  That sparkly candle is one of many Mamacita que Bonita pulls out just for Christmas. She has a great stash of things like that candle, little pretties that gently remind you it’s the holidays.  I love it.  I also love her wedge-shaped side table – so nice for a small room.

Fiancee and Brother at elephantculo.wordpress.comIt is really sad that this is the best picture I have of Fiancee and dear Brother.  Brother is expounding on the virtue of his new shoes – Merrells! – while Fiancee listens adoringly. They are so cute together.  And even though I forgot to use it very often, I really enjoyed my new camera.  Hope to have time to throw a few posts up this week with more home-making minutae.  Much love to everyone who reads this during this season of light and joy. May the new year bring you much happiness.

Santa Baby, Put a Gift Under the Tree for Me

Still no new camera here in wonderland. My cheapo $20 camera seems to have failed – incredible. I got one weekend of use out of it, and it took horrific pictures.  Shame that I wasted money on that thing.  I did get the camera on my phone to behave, so I have a few camera phone pictures of the low quality that I trust you have come to expect from me to share.  Maybe Santa will provide a better camera!

Disco ball ornaments from the Target dollar bins; hot pink yarn from A.C. Moore. Legs of random pieces of furniture and accompanying shadows are optional.


Simply string the ornaments onto the yarn.  No need to knit or crochet or use ornament hangers – I don’t want you to strain yourself.  Apply thusly to a mantel and hearth that are looking good, despite being far from completed.


I swoon.  I might keep my pink tree and my disco balls up year round. They make me smile.

The water spot that showed up on my ceiling late, late, late Wednesday night, however, did not make me smile.  Plumber is coming out tomorrow, courtesy of my home warranty.  Keep your fingers crossed, please, that it is easy to figure out the problem and sort out a solution.  I want to get around to doing fun things, like spray-painting my fireplace screen and such!

Drive By Update

Drive By Update, as in I am just zooming by wordpress to updated you, because I’ve got a lot going on, as always.

1.  I got a random check from my mortgage bank.  It’s not a ton of money, but it’s enough to replace my busted computer.  Helloooo Chromebook!

2.  I found tiny disco ball Christmas tree ornaments at Target in the Dollar Bins.  As my fairy godmother says, “DIsco balls are in year round.”  I am over the moon excited.  I think I will make a garland for the stairs with them for now, and then who knows where they will go after Christmas is over.  I”m totally channeling Victoria Elizabeth Barnes, here!

3.  Mamacita que Bonita is helping me try to rig up a way to fix the rubbermaid shelves that have the world’s crappiest hardware.

4.  My dogs are trying to eat a box of Kleenex.  They’re mostly succeeding.

5.  Every house-related project I have tried to do this week has been a mess.  Shelves with defective hardware.  Cute wreath made of ornaments and a wire hanger went gaboing! Ornaments everywhere.  Tried to drill holes for hardware in one of two kitchen drawers that mysteriously had no hardware – template is wrong.  It’s eating up all of my time to do fun things.