Day 4 started off my second week of the January Cure with a little reminiscing: I used to gain a fresh perspective in my previous small-footprinted, high-ceilinged old apartment by sitting in the door of an upper storage closet ten feet above the floor. Looking down from such great height allowed me to look at the apartment in an objective manner, as opposed to being "down in it". So, I tried to do the same in the dining room of my conventionally-sized, conventionally-heighted current house. I climbed up on a step ladder and perched for a while: This is my problem room. Perhaps that's because it still feels empty to me, despite our recent purchase of dining room chairs and a credenza. Maybe it's because I've never had my very own dining room and I'm at a bit of a loss over what to do in there (we eat at a kitchen table on a daily basis and end up using the dining room only occasionally, when we have guests). Whatever the root of this room's problems, viewing it from a corner opposite its entry and way up high, I was able to gain some insight: The dining table, as much as I love it, is extra long and extra narrow. Probably too much so for this square-ish space. Indeed, I probably need a rug in here to make it look and feel less bare. Wow, I really do like orange, don't I?
Day 5 brought me back to my large to-do list and required that I choose one project to complete. While I wanted to get busy removing the fireplace doors, my husband was having second thoughts, so I moved on to a less exciting but alltogether overdue project in the kitchen. We reconfigured our base cabinets last year and had a cabinetmaker friend do the work. He did it for a great price because he's a great friend and because he did just the bare-bones work of installing the cabinets but not cleaning up or repairing adjacent surfaces. Nah, we could handle that on our own! Cut to six months later and we still have marred and missing baseboards where the old finishes meet the new. So, I am finally going to get to the task of installing new baseboard to match the old where it abuts our new cabinets.
Next, on Day 6, I chose a piece of art to frame. The "artwork" is a Ronchamp postage stamp I gave to my husband as a gift, unframed. It's still in its little stamp-collector's mini plastic baggie awaiting some attention. Since it's small and, I think, manageable (refer to the paragraph above, as I have mis-calculated the difficulty level of DIY projects before) I'll be attempting to mat and frame it myself. Now, to Day 7 and Day 8. These are the days where I stumbled, even fell, when it came to sticking to the Cure! Saturday was my son's second birthday and we hosted a party at our house for 18 adults and 12 children. Instead of planning my end-of-Cure celebration, I was up to my eyeballs in planning games and decorations and food for the very next evening. My flowers for the week were actually a bouquet of a dozen yellow helium balloons, and my new recipe I tried out was a layered birthday cake (based on this and this). Here's a glimpse of the fun, frenzied blur of the party:
I am happy to report a deep-cleaning of the kitchen Saturday morning - even emptying the 'fridge of its past-due contents - while my husband and son were at a pre-party daddy-and-me playgroup. I had the kitchen in tip-top shape for the party that evening, and I was proud as everyone made their way through the buffet line laid out on our kitchen counters. Still cleaning up post-birthday-party, I placed a quick call to my sister and invited her as my sole guest to a quiet, her-and-me-only dinner for the weekend of February 1. I can't wait! (Images: Regina Yunghans)