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Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Slow Climb Back To Normal, And An Old Oak Table in Distress

I know.  I know.  
Normal?  Seriously?
Well, we're talking as close to normal as
That Old House ever gets.
Oh come on, confess.  How normal is your house?

So, the big fresh Christmas tree in the Conservatory came down,
the fallen needles got vacuumed up, the chandelier was re-hung,
and the table put back in place.
Notice anything odd? 

The center leg looks like it's been on an all-night bender
and can't stand up straight.  Because it can't.  Not for long.
It also goes AWOL and falls off, if given the chance.

This is a grand old oak table that was in my Great Aunt Margaret's
Brooklyn home.  Long, long ago.  It has countless leaves,
and can stretch out to about 6 miles long.

Here it is, in January 2010, in the Sunroom with the old wall color,
old carpeting, and our dear old dog Dion.

We used to be able to carefully stretch it out to accommodate 
at least several of those leaves, but now?  Everything falls apart.
Also January 2010

We managed this past Thanksgiving to put in some leaves,
but it was touch-and-go, and our guests never knew how close
they came to wearing their gravy in their laps.  I hope.

Moving the table into the kitchen for Christmas,
to make room for the tree in the Conservatory, was an adventure.

Parts fell off.  Legs.  Screws (below). 
Random bits of dry old wood exploded out of its innards.
We made a stab at fixing it, but it was at best a Band-Aid on a compound fracture.

The working mechanisms for an old table like this,
with their many moving parts, are elaborate, intricate, delicate,
clever, and completely ingenious.  Trouble is, me and Howard?
Clever and ingenious do not describe our woodworking skills.

Conservatory, Oct 2010, new carpeting, new paint.  Old table - still working.

 So now we need to decide, Howard and I, how to fix a much-loved table
that has served my family, in one house or another, for a century.
I've called a couple of furniture restorers; so far, no one's returned my call.
I suspect no one wants to tackle this table!

the table is usable, without any leaves; we don't mind the bit
of wiggle, and we're careful not to stress the dear old thing.

 Today, I realized it needed a quick centerpiece,
and had a pinecone wreath ready to help out.
The snowman looks silly, but he asked for a chance at stardom.
 I thought the glass with the silver balls would work.  But -- no.

This one, below, looks ... well, it looks awful.  Dreadful.
It's a bad thing to mix growing greens with plastic ones.
The winner of the world's Saddest Philodendron Award.

Finally.  Below.  Good enough, and doesn't make me cringe.
 A lantern, left over from a wedding at a country club.
We did not steal it.  Really.  No, really.  Probably.
Anyway, the gold blob inside is an LED battery powered candle, of realistic wax,
that, just like a real candle, melted into goo in the sun.
Now that's what I call realism!  :-)
Equally real -- the difficulty of getting melted wax out of the darned lantern.

Okay, done.  Wrote this piece Friday, then got distracted, and am finally
posting in the wee hours of Saturday morning.  Yawn.
Happy weekend! -- Cass

It's Feathered Nest Friday at the French Country Cottage.  Click here!
My Romantic Home is home to Show And Tell Friday.  Click here!
At The Charm of Home, it's Home Sweet Home Friday.  Click here!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Does This Mean I Have To Clean?

Oh dear.
One end of the Sunroom is looking mighty bare.

Back in mid-December
a big Canaan Fir moved in to spend Christmas with us.
Meaning the round oak table and the chandelier had to move out!

The tree took on lights and ornaments.

And stayed with us throughout the 12 days of Christmas,
and the beginning of the season of Epiphany.

All good things must come to an end.
Sigh ....

Does everyone hate to take down The Christmas Tree?

Well, luckily at That Old House,
there are a few others to take its place!

In our Dining Room ... 
a small artificial tree decorated with demitasse cups & saucers.
(An idea I stole borrowed from Mary at Little Red House.)

I aim toward dismantling the fresh Sunroom tree
shortly after January 6th, Epiphany.
But our artificial trees?  I like to let them linger a bit.
One year, they lingered till Groundhog Day, but we won't go that far this year.  Probably.

(Mrs. Gilda-the-Red likes to make napping nests
in the tree skirts.  Who am I to spoil her fun?)

Two more faux trees glam up the Parlor.

A few years ago, our artist daughter Anne decreed they be
decorated in white, silver, gold ... a wintry monochrome scheme.

Anne lives in Washington DC now,
but we've kept her pale and pretty color scheme.

And speaking of kids ... both Anne and Alida have
collections of ornaments from their childhood,
and they are hung on a tree in the study/family room.

One of these years, "the girls" will take their ornaments to their
own homes, but in the meantime ... they bling up our holiday.

Howard and I didn't quite finish putting the Sunroom 
back to rights after taking the tree down this weekend.

We'll get there.  We'll be back to normal soon.
(My gosh, that empty sunroom looks awful, and awfully cold!)

Happy 2015, my friends.
May this shiny new year bring you joy and blessings galore!
-- Cass