I fell down another. And yet another. And, apparently, I shall not see the light of day for quite some time.
It’s been a fun series of detours, though. Mostly.
Since you last heard from me just before Christmas (oh my gosh, what a blur that was – how about you?), let me bring you up to date a bit.
First, on December 21, my mom was put into the hospital with a terribly scary case of influenza. Now, she’s going to be 93 next week, so I know you know just how dangerous the flu (and this was that awful respiratory one where the vaccine did not work) can be when you are that age. I got the call about 6 in the morning and I spent a really anxious day wondering what was going on there so far away. It was actually her 3rd contact with either the ER or the paramedics in as many days. Good old Medicare – it was not until Sunday that we got an ER doctor who figured out a way to get her admitted. Thankfully.
And just as thankfully, we were able to spring her on Christmas Day. Happy Christmas indeed! She still felt horrible, and it has been a difficult recovery for her, but she’s doing much better now.
This was the spectacular sunset on Christmas Day. What an immense blessing, indeed.
Christmas sunset, complete with dog and moon.
Then I got sick. The day after Christmas, no less. So, I was not much help to her. There we were, 2 sickies. I had managed to dodge every bullet the entire year, but I was not able to dodge this one. It was a beast. I have not felt so crummy in years. And so, the whole 10 days that I had planned to have a nice visit with my mom, I pretty much spent hacking and coughing and just sprawled in a chair, unable to summon up the will to do much of anything. Ick.
We did, however, dig out and watch the Poldark series on DVD for the hundredth time. I never tire of it. Such an adventure! Do you remember it from Masterpiece Theater in the mid-1970’s? It is the prefect balm when you are feeling poorly. If you are feeling hale and hearty, it’s mighty fine, too. The books by Winston Graham are wonderful.
Mercifully, all that is now behind me and I left that rabbit hole for some far more interesting ones.
But before I get to those…I want to show you the final wreath of 2014. I made this one for my oldest friend; we played together as little girls and have had a lifelong friendship that has been such a wonderful gift. Even better, she lives a hop, skip, and a jump, from my mother and she pops in regularly for a cup of tea in the afternoons.
Susie asked me to make a wreath for her to give her younger sister, Sara, as a Christmas gift. We emailed back and forth over the course of a few months; I had planned on making it in the summer but then I got overwhelmed, and so it was not until just before Christmas that I finally got busy on it.
We all called Sara, “Arsa” (get it?) as children…so this is Arsa’s wreath.
I am happy to say that she loved it. And so did Susie. A good end to 2014!
Now back to the rabbit holes.
My house was built in 1935 and it still has the original kitchen. For almost 20 years, I have not had a dishwasher. I got used to it; washing dishes can be a pretty meditative process. Except when you have a dinner party and you are up until the wee hours washing your good china and crystal and scrubbing pots and stuff.
The stove is a circa 1960 GE range with an oven and a half. It’s marvelous but it’s looking pretty dilapidated and not functioning too well anymore. The fridge is not the best either. The large window that looks out over the garden is pockmarked with cracked window panes because I kept thinking, “maybe this year will be the year.” And so, things just didn’t happen.
But now they are! After almost 2 years of designing and planning, things are moving forward in a concrete fashion. If you have done your kitchen over, you know there are about a million and a half decisions to make. I’ve been chipping away at them. Appliances have been picked out and the cabinets are under construction. We have had design meeting after design meeting. All of which I have loved, design freak that I am.
Of course, I really did not have time to do a lot of this during show season. But now, I’m going to town. At the moment, I am in the midst of choosing countertops. Ay yi yi.
I’ve always lusted after white marble. Yes, I know, it’s not the most practical but…honestly, it cannot be denied as the most glorious material. I’m also considering soapstone. The yin and yang factor – light vs dark – is a tough question for me. The cabinets will all be white. In the butler’s pantry (!!!!!), the countertop is going to be walnut that we had milled from one of our trees that was felled during a hurricane years ago. I’ve been saving it for years just for this very reason.
So I’m in the middle of educating myself about which is the best material for my counters. It’s been fascinating.
I got out last week to take a peek at stone at a couple of suppliers. I think my tongue was probably hanging out by the time I was done. Wow. I saw some beautiful stone.
Calacatta Borghini Imperial Marble
This is my favorite. It’s Borghini Imperial marble. As you might imagine with a name like that, it’s über expensive. Sigh. But, oh, what a gorgeous thing.
I also saw these and was smitten.
Grigio Nuvolato marble
White Moura Marble
I’m still on this quest.
But I’ve been stalled just a little now. Yesterday, I had hand surgery. It’s something that I had been putting off until after Christmas because it involved my right thumb, without which I can’t work, obviously.
Here’s what my right hand looks like at the moment.
Pretty isn’t it? Anyway, my thumb is out of commission for at least a month. I will be SO ready to get back out to the workshop by then. I’ve got shows to get ready for this Spring!
Luckily for me, my surgeon did a fabulous job, it was not as involved as we first thought, and I have had pretty much zero pain (because I was a good girl yesterday and because the local anesthetic did not wear off until this morning).
So now, I actually have an excuse to sit around and read books!!!!!! Be still my heart. I’m on a Louise Penny jag at the moment. Have you read any of her stuff? She is Canadian and her protagonist is named Armand Gamache; he is a chief inspector with the Montreal police. I cannot recommend her writing highly enough. Her books are reminiscent of another of my favorite writers, Donna Leon, whose books are all set in Venice.
And, speaking of books, this was a Christmas gift to myself. Because, naturally, I was SUCH a very good girl all year-long.
They weren’t kidding when they put the word fantasy on the cover. Fabulous.
I’m also researching Ireland because….I’m going to travel there this summer!
AND, I’m going to be traveling to Lancaster, PA in late July to attend the Golden Glow of Christmas Past convention. My friend, Jill Pillow, who owns Old World Accents here in Richmond, and I are going to go together. I suspect that this will be a wacky and wild little jaunt. Those Golden Glow folks are absolutely RABID about vintage Christmas! I think that I am going to learn a lot.
Whew. What a year 2015 is shaping up to be!
Now I’m gonna give my thumb a rest, call my mum, and settle in for a nice winter’s evening.
Happy New Year everyone!