My hearthroom is kind of, finally, coming together the way I want it to. I think. There are still a million things it "needs," but at least the feeling of it is getting closer to what I've been wanting. When we moved it, it looked nice, but the feel was just...cold. It is nothing now if not warm. Moving the dining table out of the corner (to accomodate the Christmas tree) was just what I needed to unlock my mindset about the room. We built our first fire of the year tonight, since it was cold and wet and dreary out, and we sat and ate our dinner at the table in front of the fire, with the lights down and candles lit. Ohhhhhh, it was homey. Makes me want to throw dinner parties and wear crinolines and pumps, and hastily yank off my starched apron when the doorbell rings, as I set out the canape tray on my way to the door, checking my lipstick in the reflection of the silver serving tray...
And yeah, a matched fireplace screen and set of tools are on the to-do list. They just come after the energy efficiency evaluation, the insualtion of the attic, the leaking toilet, the shattered basement window, the chimney-sweeping, the extra fencing, etc., etc. etc. See, we have PRIORITIES. But more to the point, why are you mocking my lack of proper fireplace paraphernalia instead of doing what you SHOULD be doing, which is examining the soot-stain on the bricks just above the fireplace and telling me how to clean it. It was like that when we moved in, and we only had one fire last year. At the rate Arkansas weather is going, it will take us five years to go through our current supply of firewood.
*ahem* Sorry. Got lost in a Donna Reed moment, there, for a minute. Anyway, I'm inviting Tony over first, because he's local, and he would totally NOT make fun of me if I did wear crinolines. Or a poodle skirt, for that matter. Anyway. Hearthroom. Fireplace. Candles. Christmas.
Southern Living Magazine of my undiscovered design talent. Because, puting some votives in front of some Christmas-tree ornaments, and then flanking them with bundles of cinnamon sticks? GENIUS, you're thinking. But wait. There's more. No, really. Take a breath. Because then? After that? I PUT MORE ORNAMENTS IN A SHINY BOWL, and set them on the table. And then, not satisfied with that, I DID IT AGAIN. And--AND! There is a large candle in the middle! With FOUR wicks!
Yes, it's like magic. And no, don't be too intimidated to approach me for decorating advice, because I have totally not let this wild talent go to my head. And as for the ACTUAL talent on display up there above the mantle? That would be purchased art. Because, you know, sometimes I just can't be bothered to do it ALL myself. *ahem* The photographs of the candlelit wall sconces on brick are by Stacey Campbell, titled "Bring It On Home To Me," and you can purchase the same print from her--I won't mind. She has lots of other wonderful stuff, too (she's even having a SALE right now), and has recently been featured on CNN.com! The central painting is an original, titled "Impossible Vacation 2," by Andrea Pratt. Andrea has more artwork that I love than I have wall space upon which to hang it all, could I by some miracle afford to buy it all. So you should buy some. Seriously. It's only gonna get more valuable as time goes by, you know, so get in on the ground floor. (Disclaimer: I have ZERO financial interest in either one of these artists' work. I am just a happy customer.)
Thank you to everyone who had kind words for me about the untimely passing of Eugenius, son of national champion Genuine+// and our own Impulse Anastasia; grandson and great-grandson of the immortal stallions *Bask and *Muscat. The doctor who performed his necropsy phoned today, and confirmed that he did, indeed, have a severe twist of the colon with a significant necrotic section, and that the cause was "sand colic," a new and horrifying thing for me to deal with at this location. Curses on this land that bears no grass. I will be researching horse-management techniques that differ from what I've experienced before, so at least I have this beautiful colt to thank for letting me know what I might expect with the other horses on the property, so that I may better learn how to avoid such a fate with anyone else. Rest well and run hard in those greener pastures, my fine boy.
And to all a good night.