30 November 2008

Give Thanks

I love Thanksgiving. It has always been my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving isn't commercialised; it can't be. It's about family and surrounding oneself with those you love. This was my first Thanksgiving to spend with a new family. After stressing about whose family Jeremy & I would visit first, and whose would have to wait, mine decided to postpone until Sunday. Jeremy & I were so happy that each family would have plenty of us, and that disappointment would be spared for this holiday!

A few days before, I asked what I could bring to their family Thanksgiving. One request hadn't been filled: blueberry pie. So when asked if I could make a blueberry pie, I obliged. Now, I'm not much of a baker. Having grown up with a baker, I always relied on someone else to make what I needed. But I was sure that I could pull off a blueberry pie. I practiced making pie crust at my mom's bakery, about twenty. Thanks to a friend who had a tried & true recipe, I was successful, lattice top, and all! My pie even made it to centerstage on the dessert table.

My very first lattice-top pie

Today was Thanksgiving with my family. Because we own a restaurant and bakery, holidays are even more chaotic for us. We cook and cook and cook until the wee hours of the morning, and then we're exhausted on the holiday. Postponing for a few days made for a much more enjoyable holiday. For our Thanksgiving celebration, I made a crumb-top apple pie, and it was a hit.

Both celebrations of Thanksgiving were filled with wonderful family, friends and food. Our first Thanksgiving was a success; here's to many more!

16 November 2008

Our House is a Very, Very Fine House

I love my house. It's a house that I've dreamed of making my home. It's old and big, even though it's been divided into a duplex. It's in the Brick Streets District, just a couple streets away from the Azalea District. It has wood floors with high ceilings and grand moulding in the living room. I love it.

Growing up, I remember my mom talking about her house when she was a child. I loved that her home had wood floors; our house had carpet. She recalled stories about waking up on cold mornings, touching her feet to the floor and chills running through her. She had a rug beside her bed to soften the dreaded ice cold floor. I also remember how dreadful it seemed when I heard that they carpeted the floors. I couldn't believe that a work of art was destroyed with carpet and glue and staples and tack strips. The nerve! And to know that this was a trend, how absurd it seemed! I watch home improvement shows where a treasure is often found when carpet is gleefully peeled from a corner. A few days later, beautiful floors are shown in a finale, and the art of wood floors is displayed through a house.

Imagine how I felt when I walked into this house with my landlords on a day in April. I wanted to sign the rental agreement once I saw the wood floors. I could even overlook the bland, gray Berber carpet that was on the stairs and second floor because the living room and kitchen--the showcase of the house--had wood floors. One afternoon soon after moving in, my roommate called to tell me she'd peeked under the carpet, only to find wood floors throughout the house. Although excited, we knew the work required to resurface wood floors was more than the time we could give. We decided that the carpet would stay. Little did I know how much I would love the gray loops that cover the second floor.

Once cold weather sets in, the beautiful floors become the area of our home that we'd like most to avoid. They're cold! See, our house is on a pier and beam foundation, which makes it drafty underneath. We're forced to wear slippers downstairs at all times. Not only are the floors cold, but the pretty, single pane windows and supposed lack of insulation makes for a super cold house, floor to ceiling. For comfort, scarves, slippers, and gloves are added to our basket of blankets and offered to guests.

Last night was our first really cold night. I added a blanket to my bed, turned on the heater, and snuggled down for the evening. When I woke this morning, my first task was making a cup of coffee to warm up. I went to the staircase and started downstairs, and it was so cold (at least 10 degrees cooler than the entire second floor). Before my feet hit the wood floor, I ran back upstairs for my slippers. As the coffee brewed, I turned on the space heater and added a scarf to my pajamas and slippers. I dared to open the door and was greeted by a bright, sunshiny day. My coffee soon ready, I poured a cup and ran upstairs to thaw my toes. As cold weather settles in, I'm sure I'll promise not to spend another winter in a house that is drafty and cold, but I love my house. I do.