Did you know that we have one of the most charming Christmas markets just minutes from the Castle! It’s not too late, book a room and get some fun holiday shopping done at the Kristindlmarkt in Sparta, just a half hour drive from La Crosse! Looking at all they have, I love all the craftsmanship and colors! Time to think about a German themed tree next holiday season. What fun! Food too, from brats to pretzels to roasted nuts. Yum! https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/wisconsin/sparta-market-wi/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=wisconsin&utm_campaign=newsletter&lctg=&utm_content=nlbuttonB1
You can check dates and times on the Sparta Chamber of Commerce website too: https://www.bikesparta.com/signature-events/56394-2/
Another holiday tradition in the making is the Holiday Market at the Cathedral, which was held on December 3rd this year. I know, there are many holiday markets and sometimes a lot of the same thing, but then there are the special ones with something different, handmade and wonderful. When we travel, we look for those gallery shops that have work from several artists; painting, glass, woodworking, weaving, pottery, stained glass. We have had very good luck finding purple glass ornaments for the purple, silver and pastel tree in the music room. That one is a chubby, live tree this year, but I think we are going to have to use artificial trees next year. We have five big trees up this year, two of those are real and fresh cut, but still not doing well with the heat running all day. I hope they last until family comes to visit and gets to see those cheerful trees!
Even with the few inches of snow that dumped on us overnight, I’ll be running to the Post Office with gift certificates and a package or two to mail. You gotta admit that’s actually fun. Speaking of fun, it had been a day or two since I started a painting project. You can see yet another photo of me up a tall ladder on our Instagram. It’s time to tackle one that I’ve been putting off, the crown moulding in the dining room. We have about 90 wooden laurel wreaths around the top of that room, which is 12 feet tall. Those have a fun story we heard from the nuns that lived here many years ago. The Sisters kept a coffee can on the fireplace mantel to keep bits and pieces of those laurel wreaths as they popped off. You see, the crown moulding is slightly curved and the hand carved laurels are glued to that. At some point the sisters got brave and got a ladder and some Elmers glue and put back all the missing leaves they had saved in their coffee can, then decided the best thing to do would be to paint all the wreaths to keep them in place. Since we have never seen them wood colored, I cannot complain. It saved that wonderful and unique architectural element for future generations, which is us. We point that out when we give guests a tour of the main floor of the Castle, they are amazed! Now it’s time to show off those wreaths just a bit more, so I’m giving them another coat of paint and checking they are all ok as I do. So far so good. I’ll paint the entire area to get the background color in place, which is called Cork from Behr paint. Then the fun begins that might just take me the rest of winter, gold leaf and burnishing the leaves to a shine! Whew, anybody wanting to help, do stop by! It’s really fun, interesting and different. I needed a creative project, after all how many storm windows can a guy paint? Then we have to figure out what color to paint the ceiling. We now realize that the ceilings are all going to be painted colors or maybe even wallpaper in some places. It adds a lot and they are way up there, so you don’t notice them first thing. It’s a good place to show off a bit with a fun, unexpected color.
Be safe, take care, eat dessert first!
Love from the Castle
“Christmas isn’t a season, it’s a feeling” Edna Ferber