Monday, November 29, 2010

The china cabinet and fireplace



The china cabinet and the fireplace arrived! The china cabinet was moved from my Dad's house to mine. I hired the same guy who moved my furniture from my apartment to the condo and he also moved the estate sale furniture for me (the sofa and chair).

So there it is in my dining room. Isn't it beautiful? It sat in my Dad's basement since the 1960's when my grandmother moved in with my parents. My parents did not have a dining room so there was no place for it.




It was covered with a cloth but still there was quite a bit of dust and dirt on it. When I got it home I gave it a nice bath of Murphy's oil soap and it cleaned up beautifully.



I absolutely love the lock and key.




Here's another view.



I decided to decorate it for Christmas. A brass sleigh, one of my favorite pieces.




A vintage reindeer and bottle brush tree.




I was pleased to find out that three of the shelves had hooks for hanging teacups. I immediately took out my favorites and hung them up.



On to the fireplace! Yeah, it arrived in two boxes but not at the same time so I was a little panicked at first. The first box weighed 70 pounds so it was a bit heavy to lift. I slid it into the living room.




I hate assembling things especially big heavy things. I have a mental block when it comes to anything mechanical. I was going to pay someone to put it together for me and I told my sister of my plan.

She said, "Lane, I think we can do it". I said, "No, I don't mind sitting and reading the instructions to someone but I am not good with a screwdriver." So we agreed. I got the easy job and she was on her hands and knees with the screw driver.

To make it nicer, I played my Christmas Cds. Honestly, whenever I have assembled something with a man we end up fighting. My sister was so calm it was actually a pleasure. And in the end all she wanted in return was a homemade brownie and a cup of tea. It was quite a bargain.




Here's a closeup of the front piece. I know it's not the real thing but it is still quite nice.





I will eventually wall mount the television and I would like to frame it. For now I think I will have to leave the TV as it is and just put some greenery on the mantel. And I will address the wire cord mess.

Just a few more things I can cross off my to do list before this Saturday's party.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner



We started Thanksgiving dinner with zucchini squares as appetizers.



Then we had stuffing...



and the bird of course.




Yes, there was cranberry sauce.



I made cream cheese mashed potatoes.



My sister made butternut squash.



There were family members present...



and good friends too.



Well, I had to try it all! And it was all sooo delicious!



For dessert, gingerbread cookies and a sneak peek to my Christmas soiree. Mary made a trial run with the new cookie molds I bought. The results were fantastic! Gingerbread nutcrackers and a lovely winter scene with kitties. These will be perfect for next week's party.



The impression on the cookies was crisp and clean! It took a bit of work on Mary's part.



We also had Mary's famous mile high apple pie, cookies from Clara, and lemon bread from Sheila.

It was a wonderful meal and Clara even let me keep one eye on the Patriots game while we ate dinner. What could be better than that!

I hope everyone had a wonderful day.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Plans



I hope everyone has some fun plans for Thanksgiving and the long weekend. As for me, I am going to my "Italian Mother" Clara's house for dinner on Thursday. It will be a small gathering and I'm bringing cream cheese mashed potatoes. The recipe is from one of my Susan Branch cookbooks. Yum!

When I was at the market tonight I carefully selected the potatoes and put them into the plastic bag. When I went to put them in the cart, the bag broke and the potatoes went tumbling to the floor. I laughed and a woman who observed the calamity helped me pick them up. We searched but couldn't find all of them. I hope no injuries occurred from slipping on red bliss potatoes.

This weekend I'll be getting the condo decorated for Christmas since my party is the following weekend. Yikes, so much to do. The fireplace has arrived and just needs to be assembled. And the china cabinet is coming from my Dad's house.

I am debating about the Christmas Tree. The little one, Percy, will probably destroy it. So maybe I should put the tree up the day of the party so at least it looks good for one night. Hmm, have to think on this one.

I wish all of you a wonderful, safe, fun filled Thanksgiving and weekend. Gotta go I just heard a commotion and I am sure Percy is smack in the middle of it!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Things to do before the Christmas Soiree



I know you think it's too early to think about Christmas but I scheduled my second annual Christmas Soiree for December 4th. That is not all that far away. Yikes, there's so much to be done!

I need to make a few changes to the condo before the guests arrive on the fourth. First of all, I will have a new electric fireplace in the living room. It's supposed to be delivered on November 23rd. I am so excited to be getting a fireplace! It's mahogany color and it has a remote and it's Victorian style and it can throw heat if I want it to. I know I'm gushing but I am really psyched to have a fireplace in the condo. Don't worry I'll take photos when it arrives.

So, I can't have a gorgeous fireplace sitting next to my old cat scratched chair. Last year I threw a white sheet over the chair and called it shabby chic. This year I think it needs to go out to the curb. After the holidays, I will look for a smaller chair more in keeping with the style of my sofa.




I can't wait to decorate the fireplace for the holidays but before I do that I will need to have the television wall mounted. Then I can put the lights and greenery around the mantel.

I was hoping to put a vintage frame around the TV to mask how modern the TV looks. I have been looking for two years for the perfect frame with the right dimensions but I still haven't found one. So I guess that can wait til after the holidays too.

A while ago, my dad said I could have my grandmother's china cabinet. It is sitting in his basement now, unused, so it will have new life in my condo. I am going to put it in my dining room and fill it with my prettiest teacups, teapots, and dishes. It is so precious that I am having a professional mover take it from Dad's house to mine.

To make room for the china cabinet, the hutch will be going downstairs to my office. This room needs some TLC since it has mostly sports memorabilia in it and I want to transform it to a functional office space. A bit of femininity wouldn't hurt either.

I am making progress with my party preparations. Invitations made through Etsy have been mailed. Party favors for all the guests have been purchased. I have somewhat of an idea for the menu and have chosen the Christmas music.

This year I am going to have carolers singing outside the condo (my sister and her friends). The walkway will once again be illuminated by luminarias.

No need to panic yet. I think I am making good progress!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Turn of the Screw



I recently attended a production of "The Turn of the Screw" at the Stoneham Theatre. After my last post about Stoneham Theatre, I received the following email from Mary Curtin on behalf of Stoneham Theatre:

Hi Chatelaine,

First of all, I want to thank you for not only coming to "Gaslight", but also posting a thumbs up in your blog. That's so great!

The theatre would love for you to come join us again, along with a friend, as our guests.


I was thrilled that they saw my blogpost. I had seen the play "Gaslight" with my sister and we had given it two thumbs up. This time I wanted to see another thriller. I saw the ad in the theatre brochure and I knew "The Turn of the Screw" was the show I wanted to see. I was also given two passes by my friend Carolyn who ushers at the theatre so I invited my friend Debbi and her mother to join us. Debbi and her mom are avid theatre goers.

What drew me to this show? Set in Victorian England, a governess and two children, ghosts, and a strange handsome man! Come on, this is right up my alley. The photo in the ad of the man and the woman and the gorgeous house in the background was intriguing. Just perfect for someone who loves anything Victorian, British, and mysterious.

At the show's opening it was announced that the play was 80 minutes with no intermission and I thought I might be bored. A quick glance at my program showed just two actors listed as the cast members. Yikes, I thought, it was going to be a long night.

I am happy to say I thoroughly enjoyed this production. The set was as sparse as could be. Just a chair on stage and strands of white cord with lights resembling a web. Nothing to distract from the actors' performance.

Both of the actors were fabulous. The male character played numerous parts including the role of a ten year old boy. The change in his voice, the body movements and mannerisms made him totatally believable as he morphed into the uncle, the housekeeper, and the child. Oh, did I mention he was also the narrator?

The young woman was superb as the governess. She was so innocent at first and then gained strength when on a mission to protect the children from all the sinister goings on in the house. She was perfect for the role.

"The Turn of the Screw" was another winner for Stoneham Theatre. It's wonderful to have first class entertainment so close to home. I shall definitely return.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Tale of Three Kitties



So now there are three kitties in the household. Which creates a state of chaos on most days. Oscar and Percy are getting acquainted.



And they like to rough house a lot! I am always afraid Oscar will clock Percy and send him flying. But Percy can give as good as he gets. He's pretty tough.



Recently, Oscar was enjoying an unusually mild October day.



Then Percy realized the window was open!




And he looked at me for approval.



He thinks the window is big enough for the both of them.



Oh no, he's found a new toy!



And he tries to eat it. He eats everything in sight!



Including his toy mouse. We play fetch with it.



Sometimes Oscar has to hide from Percy. He gets exhausted from Percy's non stop appetite for play.



Percy takes a break too. He must have broken a sweat.



Oops, he caught me snapping his photo again.



Please don't chew on the wood!



Thinking about what mischief he can get into next.



Oh there's Molly. She's no angel either. Watch the lamp Molly! Did you notice this lamp is different from the lamp in the previous photos? I took the tiffany lamp out of the favorite window of the kitties. I did not want it to get broken so I moved it to the hallway.




Molly likes to sit on her perch and watch the boys wrestle.



She thinks they're rather silly.



Nice Oscar, you know you're not supposed to sit on the table. Note the runner is turned up at the ends. Can't have fringe hanging where it can tempt kitties.




Oscar ignores my pleas to get off the table.




And he gives me that innocent look. Gosh he's cute!




At least he got off the table and now he's on the chair.



Meanwhile, Percy has discovered TELEVISION!



He is partial to football. Just like me.



He likes to get real close to the screen so he can feel like he's at the game.



Please tell me he's not scratching the screen!



No really, he can't scratch the screen right?



Molly was relaxing but then she felt like she was being watched.




She was annoyed but she will put up with it for now. I can hardly wait until we put the Christmas tree up!

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