At some point after the NYC trip and before New Year’s Eve, I got started on redoing Charlotte’s closet. I was tired of not having any place to put the toys *away,* so I decided to put one of the Closetmaid organizers in her closet. Unfortunately, that meant more painting – that closet was the last vestige of the original paint in the house. I just never got to it. So I gutted it out, and just gave the entire thing several coats of ceiling white – ceiling, walls, everything. I didn’t even patch – I figured I could go back and do that later if I really wanted to. I’d been staging in the structure, and figured (correctly) that I had enough of the actual shelves on hand from when I re-re-did the library closet. I marked level lines, located studs, and then started nagging Bob to get the structure up – it was just a little too high over my head for me to be able to get leverage.
The next noteworthy thing to happen on my Christmas vacation was New Year’s eve. We had a few people over again, and I can’t speak for anyone else, but I had a fabulous time. It was a smaller crowd, but the nice thing about that is that we were able to sit down at the dining table for dinner. I like giving dinner parties – who knew? I also got to tell my Michael Whelan story to an appreciative audience. That was FUN.
Having frantically tidied the house for Christmas eve we just needed to pick up a bit for New Year’s eve, which was nice. It wasn’t really cold enough for a fire, but I wanted one so I laid a fire and opened the window. J I went considerably less overboard with the food this year, but I did learn that deviled eggs are never wrong for this crowd. Folks brought things – I finally learned of the love that is savory toasted cheese (and I don’t like brie!) – and I put in the rib roast I originally had in mind for Christmas. It came out well, as did the Yorkshire pudding. THIS year I remembered to get mom’s muffin tins. This year I also learned why mom always made me help her – you really DO need two people working it when you’re making that many. I’ll train Bob for next year. Having to eat “practice” beef roast and Yorkshire pudding won’t exactly break his heart.
Good food, good conversation, we put “Firefly” in the DVD player, and at one point there were three people playing “Angry Birds.” Some of us were holding up our end of the conversation better than others while doing that. We actually saw in the new year, which isn’t bad for the bunch of old folks we’re turning into.
I’m still feeling my way through how I want to celebrate New Year’s eve. I know that *I* don’t like to drive on New Year ’s Eve, so I struggle with inviting people from a distance. There’s also the wild card of the weather to take into account. This year Bob and Camma went outside and shot a couple of ends, it was so mild. Next year we could potentially have problems with snow and on-street parking. There’s just no way to anticipate, and I tend to plan for the worst.
On New Year ’s day, Bob’s family came over for their Christmas visit. This was not my first choice, but it was the only scheduling that worked. Luckily they indicated that they wouldn’t be over until early afternoon, so we still got to sleep in as much as Charlotte would allow. Actually, we even managed to get a goodly chunk of the closet structure up. It damn near *killed* me that they showed up before we finished. I really, really wanted to start rearranging. It’s just as well – if he’d gotten it done for me I would have been entirely antisocial all day.
It was a nice day. Dinner was easy – we had a baked ziti from New Year’s Eve that hadn’t been consumed, and one that hadn’t been cooked, so – voila! Dinner! Gotta love that. Charlotte was definitely becoming a social butterfly. Think about it – on the 24th, my entire family showed up. On the 27th and 28th, she got Grandma and Grandpa. On the 31st, a bunch of friends came over. The morning of the 1st she asked me “where are all the people?” “Don’t worry sweetie – they’ll be here a little later.” I was actually a little worried about easing her back into normal life.
Monday was a company holiday, and we had no company, so I threw myself into Charlotte’s closet. Kind of literally. We brought all the toys upstairs, I got out all of the available shelving and a hacksaw, and I redid her closet. Toys went on shelves and into bins, and when all was said and done, 90% of the toys had found a home. She was actually pretty excited – I don’t think she’d ever seen everything in one place before. So now we’ve got clutter around the house, but when I get tired of it, there is actually an “away” for it to all be put. That’s over half the battle.
Not bad for a week’s vacation. Next year though, I’m going to try to do less.