September 13th, 2011

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Another Self-Indulgence

This past spring, I bought real chairs for our kitchen.   I'd been looking for chairs to replace aging and mismatched folding chairs we'd used throughout our 40+ year marriage, and finally ordered library chairs.  Loved 'em.  That immediately brought up the issue of tables.  The kitchen table was too small to seat six, though we'd crammed six into it from time to time.  So I had a leaf made for it.  It's still uncomfortably narrow (but the kitchen isn't big enough for a wider table--people would have their backs on the refrigerator and stove on one side, and cabinets on the other) but at least we can seat six in the kitchen.  And on chairs that the seat won't sag out of, nor the folding mechanism collapse.  "No more folding chairs!" was my motto.

But the big thing was a table to replace the makeshift table complex in the room at the other house where we have big dinners.  It was my mother's house, and is now our weekend-guest-and-big-dinners house.   For almost thirty years, since she moved there, we've used a combination of old and cheap-made tables to seat guests.   There's the dining table from when I was a child, and the dining table my husband and I had in our first house (my mother was still using the other one) and a table I made out of plywood and purchased metal folding two the same width or height.    The main T-day table (and we always have over a dozen for T-day)  is the two old dining tables, both drop-leaf tables with additional leaves.    One has four legs, slightly curved. The other is a sort of pedestal-leg combo (hard to explain, but there's a central pedestal at each end with legs that splay out from its bottom.)  I drop the leaves on the ends where they're pushed together,  but use the internal leaves, and it makes a long wider and higher, the other narrower and lower.  Thanks to the dropped leaves and the inconsistent legs, though technically quite long enough for 12, it's uncomfortable for more than 10.   (We've put 12 at it, using the narrow folding chairs, but...not comfortable.)

And that's going to change, because I've ordered a "French Farm Table" that is the same width (and 2 inches wider than the wider of the two old dining tables--the width of the table I made) all the way down.  6 feet long to start with, and four one-foot leaves to take it to a full 10 feet, 120 will seat 12 in 6 inches less length than the two old ones as now arranged.   No more worrying that the end leaves will give way when someone puts their elbows on more struggle to get the tablecloth to look good over the "joint"...more space between seats and across the table so I can put dishes down the middle.

And I'll need more chairs, because the old chairs of the old tables are wearing out (the older are more than 60 years old; the younger more than 40.) 

The new table won't be here by Thanksgiving, but may be here by Christmas, so I'm looking forward to a new year in which all guests at every feast can have a solid, comfortable table and chairs.  There won't be any pictures until everything's in place.

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Snippety snippety

There's a new post up at the Paksworld blog with a snippet from Echoes of Betrayal, the book that will be out next spring.

Young Beclan's uncomfortable night in a dilapidated herder's shelter sets him up for some challenging times ahead.  But those, major spoilers, aren't in this snippet.