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Monday, January 6, 2014

Auld Lang Syne

The trees are down (thanks, Biggest Brother!) and we ate in the dining room twice this week (which makes it twice ever!) as the kitchen table was taken over with Christmas decor. 

The Polar Vortex awarded us an extra day of holiday for which we're exceedingly grateful. We've put the day to good use playing games and tidying up. Didn't seem right to go back to school with stockings still hung.

It was a wonderful Christmas. Lots of reflecting on days of old and reconnecting with friends from years past. We ventured from one capital city to another to enjoy the new year with some of our oldest friends in Richmond. Treasures all around! The Mister swears we lived there 16 years ago but that seems entirely impossible. 

In packing up our ornaments I found this little box which once held my entire ornament collection. That was about the same time I put a Christmas tree in the passenger seat of my tiny convertible and drove it home to my equally tiny apartment. Busy with work, after Christmas I dragged it to a spare bedroom and let it sit until about February when I asked my father if I could borrow a saw. I can still see his expression imagining what possible need I could have for a saw in my apartment. I think he relented because he trusted the Mister with his tools. We cut that thing to pieces and tossed it over the fire escape. Those were the days! I had so few ornaments then that I baked gingerbread men to fill in the gaps. It is a tradition we still keep. The cookie ornaments, that is -- not throwing chopped up bits of the tree three stories. Although, we actually did launch another tree from our rooftop in Richmond, too.

Speaking of work (we were at one point - before I started yammering about tree disposal), when we were in Richmond we visited with a former co-worker of mine (actually in some form or another, all those Richmond friends were sort of work friends) and drove by my old office. Akin to touring Antietam or Stonehenge, the concept of Momma working in an office seems like ancient days for the smalls. Me, too if I'm honest with myself. But if I could drop in solely for lunch meetings over big cookies, I just might be tempted to return to the salt mine. 

I'm more likely to serve big cookies in our very own dining room these days. So THIS is the dining room?! Forgive me if I've already told you this, but as we've not had both a dining room and eat-in kitchen since we lived in Virginia (two homes ago), we didn't need a dining room table. Our big, old display table from Marshall Field has been our only table for a while. But in the new house we have a dining room again. So we thought we should eat there. Ideally while seated.

We found an old table and chairs for a steal at my favorite antique shop. It surely was a bargain because the chairs were missing their seats. No worries! I had wood cut at the hardware store and covered them myself on the cheap. A local fabric store recommended an upholsterer in town but one glance at their fancy website and I was fairly sure they weren't in my budget. The window treatments are old fabric I intended to use at the flat. I followed this tutorial with great success although I confess to adding framing nails (!) for extra support.

And if it doesn't give you a yearbook feeling (do you suffer from that, too?) to think about Christmas decorations in the new year, when the kids get back to school I'll show you how we doctored our rental with greens. And not just the mailbox.

Happiest new year from the Arctic South.

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