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New curtains!

Not new curtains at my place, but at my father's. We've been trying for months to get new curtains up in the dining room, where the old curtains literally were in shreds in places--the old fabric was disintegrating from time, sun, and dirt. It's a difficult room--small, dark because of shade trees outside, and with a shag carpet in shades of green. Yes, we thought about new carpet, but the old one is in OK shape, and it didn't seem worth the effort despite the fact that the old one is, well, green shag.

So, we were looking for new curtains, and didn't want to go the custom route--none of those most concerned (my father, me, my brother and sister-in-law) care about the difference between 'curtains that look pretty good and cover the windows' and 'extremely well made curtains in a fabric that will be just the right decorating touch.' Remember the green shag carpet decision.

First attempt was Penneys, and we (s-i-l and I) found a nice gold-striped curtain. Bought the panels, found an opportunity for brother and s-i-l to get to Moultrie, and found that the curtains were tab-top, not pinch pleat. Existing curtain rods need pinch pleat. Return curtains to Penneys.

Second attempt was an Internet discount place, where we found nice looking curtains but had to order 4 panels per window to get the width we need. Couldn't make these look OK on existing curtain rods. Curtains were also lined and pretty opaque, darkening the room even more than it was with the old ones. Or so I'm told--I didn't make it down here to put those up, either. Return curtains.

This attempt was a set my brother spotted on Penney's Web site--a off-white and sage-green stripe in an open weave, and they came in a width that would work on the existing rod. I ordered them at the end of June, and the box sat in my guest bedroom while brother and s-i-l dealt with kids and camps and summer travel, and I had work deadlines and the Boise and San Diego business trips. This weekend became the designated curtain-hanging date, take 3, with me making the trip. And....the curtains are wonderful. The room is much lighter, the color goes well, and it's a huge improvement in the house. Daddy and I have ended up in the dining room three times, I think, just admiring the change.

I'm fairly wiped after the day, having forgotten little things like needing to iron the curtains before hanging them. So one set of curtains were hung, removed, ironed, and rehung, and the other set were ironed and hung. The ironing job is not great, that being one of those skills, like painting, that requires much more of a perfectionist mindset than I possess. I'm hoping the remaining creases will fall out by themselves. Curtain rods were cleaned and stray odd-colored threads were removed from some seam hems (hey, we paid Penney's prices for these, a handful of bright red threads to be picked out were merely an annoyance).

I've also cooked to re-stock the freezer with Chicken Kyoto and Beef in Wine (we had some of this for dinner, too), and will make a chicken with lemon and garlic tomorrow before leaving that will also leave leftovers. We've cleaned assorted ancient bottles from a corner of the closet. Manischewitz blackberry wine, anyone? How about the home-made 'red grape' wine, vintage 1983, from an acquaintance? The plum wine with a layer of sediment/other deposits? We tried the 1988 chardonnay, but poured it out after part of a glass. I threw out rancid olive and canola oil from the pantry and suspicious chicken bouillon powder before making the grocery store run. With the sporadic cooking that happens down here, periodic purges of the fridge and pantry are necessary.

As soon as the dishwasher finishes up, I'm setting up the coffee pot (on a timer--must have caffeine before any significant morning activity, like fully opening the eyes) and headed to bed.

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nlbarber
Nancy Barber

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