Thanksgiving was wonderful.  The best Thanksgiving I've had in...maybe ever.
No planning, no cooking, but plenty of eating and sharing time with friends.
The restaurant buffet was filled with a potpourri of diners. Some
dressed up, some dressed down; white, black; young, old.  I didn't see any pattern.
I sat wondering why so many people were eating out on Thanksgiving.  Do they
not cook?  Maybe they're all renovating their kitchens?  I wanted to do a survey
 but I feasted on seafood instead.  Lots and lots of bay scallops, shrimp,
oysters, calamari salad, crab legs and salt cod brandade.  It was all wonderful.
It ended with pumpkin pie so it still felt like Thanksgiving.

Although I avoided any Thanksgiving or Black Friday shopping, it was
fun to go out over the weekend and see all the wreaths and garlands,
holidays plants and flowers, glittered twigs and pinecones offered up for
sale at our local garden shops.  I'm starting to love pale gold poinsettias.
They're just a little bit richer looking than the white ones.

Not having to drag the Christmas decorations up from the basement
this year does feel a little funny but it's also another opportunity to do
things a little more simply.  Perhaps I'll have a beautiful wreath in the 
house instead of a tree.  It's good to try something new.

I got an e-mail from a follower in France encouraging me to give
Farrow & Ball paint a chance.  It was quite a compelling testimonial
and it convinced me to head out and buy a potpourri of sample pots to try.
I'm painting each color on a piece of mat board so I can hang them on the wall,
juxtapose this one against that one and move them around the kitchen
to see how they look in different places at different times of the day.

This year has been filled with kitty issues.  Angus needed eye
surgery over the summer, Zazu was diagnosed with diabetes just
a few weeks ago and Warum (pronounced Varoom) had major
dental issues that required removing all of his teeth yesterday.
Zazu will require insulin injections twice a day for the rest of her
life but I work the injections into a little brushing/love/injection
session and she doesn't even know what's going on.  I'm hoping
things will settle down on the pet health issue front for awhile.


After considering a billion different light fixtures, I decided
on the above trio.  It's the Milton Road pendant, the Boston
Single Flush Mount and the Marine flush mount, all from Circa. 
I've loved the Milton Road pendant for a long time but it wasn't
until I noticed the fluting on the shade was a similar pattern to the
columns in the store counter that it seemed perfect.  The Boston
lights (top right) are exactly the same (only nicer) as the old fixtures
that were in my closets and hallways when I bought the house.
Those just feel like they belong in the house. 
And finally, after all of the testing I did with pickling, white
washing and grain filling on samples for the kitchen floor,
I decided on....  

...English Chestnut stain for the floors.
These will match the floors in the rest of the house and provide
continuity throughout the entire downstairs which I think is really
needed for such a small living area.  Yes, it took a lot of work
to get to that decision but my samples just weren't that exciting
or unique enough to trump the benefits of consistency.
I just found out that my new range is backordered three weeks
so there will be no Christmas goose, no plum pudding coming from
this kitchen.  (Maybe just a little Wassail on a hot plate in red Solo cups.)
I was only mildly optimistic it would be done in time anyway.  Even
if the cabinets are done, the countertops still need to be templated
and fabricated so I'm not hugely disappointed.
Maybe Easter ham?