Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


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Sunday, April 18, 2004  

Of course, nobody can put dusty dirty furniture and pictures back against clean white walls, so I spent yesterday cleaning, as a preliminary to the great PutBack project. Cleaning and sorting and tossing. I had ment to take before-and-after photos of the living room - it would have been impressive - but I forgot the before shots and the after shots will now only look like somebody’s tidy room full of late Victorian furniture.

My MiL was the last of her family, and the only one to have children. As each generation faded, she inherited furniture and when I stepped into the family she was just closing up her aunt/cousins house, built in 1898 and furnished, by the judge and his wife, not in Arts and Crafts, but in the height of curlicue and marble top. This was post-war south and folk were not going to buy furniture when there was perfectly good stuff at Papa's. And so we have Cousin Kate's bed, Aunt Tee's marble topped pie safe (folk are always asking about it, with it's carved mantle and screened sides) and one of those glass bookcases with doors that pull up and then slide back, like roll top desks, only flat. Ancient furniture does not like to be moved, and lazy husbands seldom empty out cabinets and bookcases before moving them. Fortunately, good little virgo housewives won't put them back withoug doing so, and they will commandeer MwTs to repair the loose tenons, caused, in part, by the passage of time and dry heat, but largely by being hefted and hoisted while still full of heavy things.

It took a good while to get going on the whole project, for the house was slowly waking up to guests and family and a sort of giddy joy inspired by weather warm enough to allow breakfast outside. SS and his friend wandered about my garden - a weedy mess, and before we knew it, we were snapping off those tall phlox stalks, revealing the carpets of blooming violets and ground ivy, laughing at the bold sauciness of the sweat pea, who thinks it will defeat the violets, and sighing over the bullying climbing White Dawn rose. That one will have to be moved - it's right alongside one of the main paths in the garden and it's not just aggressive, it attacks. Poor garden, I have neglected it shamefully for so many years. Happily, SS and friend are basically hippies and like the idea of invasive plantings. Not a shred of embarrassment there - though I did think the garden and the house bore striking similarities, in their blowzy, sloppy haphazard clutter.

LD showed up with girlfriend and the energy really cranked up after that. Rapid fire conversation, passionate exclamations, happy sharing. It was fun to see BD swell into his role as pater familias. And soon enough they'd scattered, leaving me with my project - half of which I completed. The living room is ship shape - for me, that is, and I tried to begin work on the den. That proved beyond the body's endurance. Something that big is going to require the freshness of morning. I did figure out, at last, how to set the date and time on the answering machine, and while hauling out ThingsHidden I discovered my old high school yearbooks behind the collection of turn-of-the century novels I've promised myself I will read before they get taken to the library's sale shelf. Who wouldn't want to read Madonna of the Barricades or The Bondwoman? There is even a copy of Cluny Brown. Hammock reading, for sure.

So the most difficult to reach corner of the den is cleaned and dusted and ready to ignore - but the heaps and mounds of fiber stuff on the floor, couch, chest, and table tops has got to be tamed. Even at it’s best it shan't look all that good, but one will, at least, be able to walk through the room to the French doors.

Alas, the washing machine died on me, mid cycle. That particular ManWithTools isn't available till tomorrow. I shall have to take this week's laundry to LD's house before I tackle the den.

Hmmm. I suppose nobody really wants to hear a blow by blow account of my housekeeping projects. All that is left, then, is the happy news that the hat part of the blue boucle hat is finished - a soft cushy hug of a blue hat. The cuff part will knit up easily on size 8's sometime this evening, after the stash is tamed. I'm of two minds about blocking the hat now, or after the cuff is added. I'm very curious to see what blocking does to the merino - I doubt it will do much at all to the boucle. But done it shall be, before I go to work tomorrow. Then it is back to the Alice Starmore - the second half of which I believe I shall knit in a trellis design. Flowers on the bottom, trellis on the top. Sounds just right.

The Anniversary Dinner was at LD's house last night and it was pure happy laughing pleasure - a couple of bottles of Spumanti - which is my favorite, LD's smoked venison, mountains of new potatoes, salad and cherry pie. We sat outside listening to the peepers and the bull frogs and some screaming toads. First came Venus, then came the wishing stars, as we bid goodnight to the pale pink of a fading sunset. I believe I will order up 30 more such years.

posted by Bess | 8:44 AM