Monday, January 25, 2010

Candle Shopping

Yesterday I went candle shopping. The day before I went candle shopping while my husband was reading magazines at Border's Book Store. Tomorrow I will probably go candle shopping.

I don't always buy candles. And yesterday I returned two candles that I had bought the day before. But my kitchen table has become a thing of obsession.

I like to have a new table cloth on the kitchen table every month or two. Had dark harvest yellow with a brown acorn beaded center piece and three matching red candles for the Fall season. Had a green and red plaid with metallic gold thread table cloth for the Christmas season. That table had a potted Poinsettia plant in the center. Currently have a light green table cloth with a cream center piece and three clear crystal candle sticks, at varying heights, with faceted glass that the light bounces off of. They remind me of ice and snow, with their white wax candles, perfect for January.

As you can see the table cloth is always coordinated with some type of candle. It can be in a jar. It can be on a candle stick. It can be a tea light holder. We actually do light the candles some nights when we are having dinner. Very romantic. But when you walk into the apartment, I believe, that the first thing you notice is the kitchen table. So in my book, it has to be a thing of profound beauty.

The kitchen table is very small and compact. It can be opened up into something much larger. There are two dropped panels on either side. But for my husband and I, a small kitchen table to eat at, holding just two plates, is perfect. If we have company or need to do a craft project it is easy to prop up one or both of the side panels. Otherwise, everyone walks completely around the kitchen table if they spend any time at all in the kitchen. The kitchen table is an island in the center of the kitchen.

When my step-daughter brings her dog (and sometimes her roommate's dog too) over to visit I remove anything that might get knocked over and broken from the kitchen table. Some of my candle sticks are tall. Multiple dogs like to play, and as they play, they knock into furniture and sometimes try to go under or over it. The kitchen table really moves around a lot when there are frisky dogs in the house.

February is Valentine's Day. My husband does not know this but on Valentine's Day I will switch the table cloth to red. Just yesterday I bought a black runner to put in the middle of the table that has a cream embroidered flourish (with complicated loops and swirls) running down the whole strip of cloth. At the end of the cloth are plastic beads,- very ornate to go with the ornate flourish. It is quality, the fabric looks like stiff silk, bought at a steep discount at T.J. Maxx for $14.99. All that is missing is a single, red, pillar candle in the middle of the table. I saw one yesterday but did not buy it. So I'm going back to Pier I Imports tomorrow to buy it. If I'm fast, and beat out the other shoppers, I can buy a large, surrounding glass holder for the red pillar candle left over from Christmas that has been marked down twice to an amazing $6.99. It boggles my mind that I did not buy it immediately. But apparently ideas need to peculate for a while in my imagination. There were two left.

Part of my gift to my husband is that on Valentine's Day I will not write, I will not read or watch movies, but instead, I will clean the apartment. So when my husband comes home from work he will find the rugs vacuumed, the dishes done, the nick-knacks dusted, the bathroom shower stall scrubbed, the bedding changed, and hopefully too, fresh laundry. And on the clean kitchen counter he will see a heart shaped box of candy and a card. My husband does not read my blog so I can plan all this here and it still will be a surprise for him.

My husband tells his co-worker about my mania of having a lovely kitchen table and his co-worker is amused. The funny thing is, he knows we don't have any company. Several weeks ago my mother came by. When my husband's daughter comes by usually nice things are removed from the kitchen table and put on the counter. But we don't have any friends to visit. We are loners. So the kitchen table is a thing of beauty for our eyes only, not to impress the world.

However, should we have company, I am prepared. We are prepared for company in other ways besides decorating the kitchen table. We have many many dishes and glasses. Most of them are made out of the collectible green glass called Jadeware. Most of them have come from antique stores or ebay. If it isn't Jadeware, then we buy ceramics and glass in as near to the Jadeware color green as we can find. As much as we love Jadeware, there are several draw backs. You can't use Jadeware in the microwave. There are no drinking glasses in Jadeware, only cups and mugs. And Jadeware is expensive. Most of our Jadeware was a wedding present from my mother.

We love our Jadeware so much that we bought milky green glass pulls and knobs to put on our kitchen cabinet doors and drawers. It is contemporary glass, but it is a perfect color match to the antique Jadeware. There is such a large amount of people who collect Jadeware that some company thought people would like this accessory. And they were right.

The only thing that makes me sad about our kitchen is that we don't have a nice couch. Yes, with the tiny kitchen table, our kitchen is large enough to hold a couch. Our couch fabric got holes in it so we put a large blue blanket over the couch. There are some nice pillows on top of the blanket, but it is a poor person's couch. It is what you do to an old couch when you don't have money to buy a new couch. Which is exactly our situation. A nice new couch costs about $1,000 or more.

I would be happy to forgo a vacation to instead buy a couch but this would not be a wise thing for my husband's frame of mind. He works every day at a standard job and I don't. If I want, any day can be a vacation for me. My husband looks forward, all year long, to his vacation. It is like a carrot dangling at the end of a stick. And he wants to go someplace special on his vacation. This year we are going to my Dad's cottage in Maine. Next year we will probably go to his folk's home in Iowa. Traveling costs money, even when the place where you are going to stay overnight is free.

So when I dream, I dream of having a new couch. Its a tiny, harmless dream. I don't dream of a different husband. I don't dream of fame and glory. I don't dream of a house of my own, or a different lifestyle where I am visiting museums, seeing plays and listening to symphonies. I don't dream of owning more shoes, more jewelry or more clothing. These things I have enough of. Sometimes I dream of having a child, but I know that if I had traveled down that path, I wouldn't be an artist. I had to chose one or the other and I made my choice in my mid twenties. Now I have to live with my decision. Instead, I dream of having my hair done at a hair salon professionally once every two months and owning a new couch. All my dreams could come true if I have a book published. So I write diligently every day. I don't have much faith in my talent. I'm not going to be a superstar, not someone new and exciting, I won't make a splash on the scene. Those all were dreams of my youth. Currently I would settle for just being published.

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