Tuesday, December 1, 2009


This is the lovely sight which greeted me when I wandered out of our room this morning. The Good Fairy of Decorating had been busily at work as we slept. This is the little chandelier over the dining table downstairs.

Click to see details, if you'd like.

I got my first cup and went up toward the voices in the little sitting area---Chris and Caro were up there in the sunshine, discussing the new sink---an uplifting subject for a sunny morning. The house has never looked this lovely. She's been getting out stuff I didn't even know we HAD, making bows and swags and lovely little vignettes and arrangements all over the house. She's having a few friends to tea on Sunday afternoon, and she takes her entertaining seriously.

This is a cozy little corner---what is meant to be the "dining room" in all these tiny ranch houses in our Fifties neighborhood. The brass letters in the windows will later hold the stockings---it's too much temptation for a little one this week, so the row of stockings will not go up until Sunday, right before the party. They're all ivory---some satin, some linen, and some have to be double-hung like extra socks on the clothesline. We no longer have a mantel with the handy nails for hanging, so when the weight of the goodies goes into the stockings, they have to be ranged like soldiers all down the couch and chairs. We always leave one item sticking out the top, each of significance to the recipient, so everyone will know their own.

Note the stack of pretty green boxes beneath the tiny tree---they hold some of the reams of my writings and midnight musings over the years. I don't know how she managed to gift-wrap the heavy, unwieldy things, but she did.

And to gild the lily---she gift-wrapped the air conditioner. I kind of like it. That center cushion on the couch is where FuzzyPup has established his upstairs domain. He has a big old burlap pillow which goes on just for him, and he lies there in all his golden glory, surveying his realm, and jumping down to go to the windows and warn away the neighborhood cats.

We've brought in all the outdoor pots, and this begonia has just gotten out of hand---it's always been one of those flop-over-the-sides-of-the-pot ones, but now, with that steady sunshine and Caro's careful attention, it's heading for the ceiling---I've never seen one do that.
The Magi are papier mache, and live in a neat slotted box---they were old when I got them, smelling of old paper and Christmases past.

The ornaments have been collected over many years, and are swapped out from year to year, with a few favorites always on the tree. They're mostly glass and clear this year, with a lot of sparkle, and a long spiraling strand of the same burgundy ribbon that's on the swags, the chandelier, and the doors. There are angels and swans and satin balls, blown-glass hearts and even a couple of tee-ninecy brass chandeliers, with little Lilliput crystals like grains of rice.
The dove candleholder is always on the coffee-table; that table was in my parents' den, where my Mother kept her ashtray and set down thousands of cups of coffee.
There are even a few light ring-marks beneath the glass from the condensation of the frosty glasses of iced tea set down over the years.

I wish you were every one here to sit and chat for a while in the calm of the morning---there's a place for you, a cozy chair and a warming cup, and I bid you always welcome this Blessed Season.


Nail said...

Your home looks lovely and I really wish it was me with that cup of coffee to chat with you for hours. I haven't gotten out one Christmas thing yet but will get our tree and decorations out maybe this weekend. Love you more than you know and Happy Birthday Daddy!

Anonymous said...

Another lovely page in your open book - love to read each one and see the pictures of your life.

Kouign Aman said...

We got the top of the piano decorated (our first gingerbread house), and the side table.
The rest will happen next weekend.
Caro is a ball of energy!

Tonja said...

How lovely everything looks! You've got way more accomplished than I! Love the idea of wrapping the boxes under the little tree!

I would love nothing better than to come and sit and visit with you. I bet we could talk for hours. But, I'll have to pass on the coffee...I'm not quite old enough to drink it yet! :) I take my caffeine cold!

There predicting big stormy weather here tomorrow. So, Alex and I will stay in all day. All the decor is already in the house, so maybe I can finish it all tomorrow!

Southern Lady said...

Oh, Rachel, your home is so lovely and warm, and just beckons you to "come sit a spell." I enlarged all the pictures and everywhere you look there is a treasure just waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. I love the table holding the begonia ... and that precious Santa and his reindeer pillow on the bench in the corner ... and all the pretty greenery scattered around the rooms ... it's all so beautiful and sweet and so YOU. It looks as if you're going to have Miss Eudora herself for tea. I can just see her holding court from that elegant old wicker rocker. What a beautiful and gracious home you have!

Southern Lady said...

P.S. -- I love the way Caro decorated the chandelier. It's the frosting on the cake!