I got the new dishes yesterday, and I love them. Here is some early-morning, seven-grain hot cereal with brown sugar and milk — one of my favorite winter breakfasts.
It feels strangely adult-y to have eight matching place-settings of something, instead of the cupboard jumble I am used to — even with the White Dishes, there was always something missing, or busted. The impending holiday brings out the shepherdess in me: I start looking for, then tending to, every pile of wrinkled tablecloths, every too-tiny drawer of (wrinkled) napkins. I start rounding up strays from the laundry area, wondering what happened to so-and-so (the eighth yellow napkin, the fourth blue-flowered napkin). Our little old house is low on storage space. Whenever I see people on Househunters on HGTV complaining that there are only, like, five ginormous closets in the prospective house I start guffawing: People! You have no idea! Only one teensy closet on the first floor, stuffed with winter coats and the vacuum cleaner, in Andy's office. So parts and pieces of cooking and dining materials roam the first floor unsupervised — baking dishes and tube pans in the pantry, casserole dishes on the sideboard in the dining room, tablecloths in the dresser in the dining room, napkins in the china cabinet in the kitchen. I have to herd all my little lambs occasionally, and take stock.
I ironed linens all morning (oddly relaxing — should do it more than once a year), and am pre-washing all of the fabric I got yesterday for the runner and napkins. By the time I picked everything out yesterday at the fabric store I was exhausted. You want to get it right, you know? I try to make something special for myself for the holidays every year. It forces me to sit and think about the holidays. It's the gift I give myself. That time. I'm looking forward to it this next week. Just sittin' and thinkin' and stitchin'. And ironin'. I think the dryer is almost done.