Well, I finally finished the dining room this morning! I guess I spent 10-12 hours on it total. But it was totally worth it. Everything is put away, organized, and clean.
After spending all of that time in the dining room, I was not in the mood to do an elaborate tablescape. But I just hate to see the table bare! I guess the tablescaping disease will do that to you! So I decided to do a simple table with some these great small plates that I saw when I was putting away some things. I realized that I had not used them in a while, so they became the focus for this table.
For the kitchen, I wanted to use the Friendly Village square salad plates. I just love the square salads.
I called the new display on the hutch “Embracing the Orange.” Today I am calling both the kitchen and dining tables “A Study in Neutral.” As much as I love color, I also am drawn to earth tones and neutral shades like brown and taupe.
I started in the dining room with these off-white placemats and my taupe square dinner plates from Wal Mart. I’ve had these placemats for a number of years, and I noticed that they have a few stains that aren’t coming out. I guess that I will have to toss them at some point, but I am resisting doing that because I like them so much.
These cocktail-themed plates are really cute and I like them a lot. Each one of the set of four has a different picture on it.
I chose the Present Time flatware because of the neutral colors. I like mixing and matching these utensils and have ended up using this set much more than I ever dreamed that I would.
I decided on my taupe napkins and found these napkin rings in brown and tan. My mother-in-law picked these up at a garage sale and gave them to me.
Unfortunately, I don’t really have any neutral-toned glasses and my clear crystal seemed too formal for this table. I decided on my Dollar General green glasses. They are casual, and the earthy green shade works well with the rest of the place setting.
For a simple centerpiece, I chose my standby Wal Mart candle tray. I put the tan votive in a holder in the middle and surrounded it with black and brown “river rock.”
In the kitchen, I put down my taupe placemats and topped them with my off white Wedgwood plates.
Then came the Friendly Village salad plate. I chose the paisley napkins in shades of brown and tan to complement the placemat with a simple gold napkin ring with tassel. Since we had pork chops for lunch, I used the steak knives with my Chateau flatware.
I finished the place setting with these amber balloon goblets.
For the vignette on the kitchen table, I used the candle tray and river rock again. This time I replaced the votive holder with three small tea lights. I liked the simplicity of it and the way that I can use this centerpiece in a variety of ways.
I was very satisfied with my final efforts on both tables. I was going for simple neutrals, and I think that I achieved that.
This time last year I got a call from a local school asking me to take a maternity leave for one of my former students.
I decided to do so, and I ended up having a good experience with it. A few months ago a received another call from a different former student asking me to take her maternity leave. She teaches at the school where I used to work, and her maternity leave would be at the beginning of the school year, just like the one that I took last year.
For anyone else, I would have given them an automatic “No.” But because I love her so much and feel so close to her, I did seriously consider it. I took a few days to weigh out all of the pros and cons, but ended up deciding against it. I just really don’t want to get up and go every single day for several weeks. The main reason that I did the sub job last year was that I thought that I owed it to myself to try it at least once. I would never know if I wanted to sub or not if I didn’t ever do it.
I tried it and did like it. But I did also find out that I no longer have the desire to be totally responsible for a classroom. I felt bad turning her down, but I knew that I did the right thing for me.
I decided to focus on the antiques and collectibles market and to keep trying to beef up my booth. I have also enjoyed being available to help out both of our parents if they need it. I’m a substitute teacher for a Sunday School class, and I like being able to stay ahead with my housework, which I could never do while working. I began tablescaping a few months after I retired and blogging a few months after that. These two things have filled my creative need, and I have enjoyed both more than I ever dreamed. Overall, I feel very satisfied and fulfilled in my retirement.
Therefore, when I received a call a couple of weeks ago for a possibility of part-time work, I was very surprised and flattered that they called me. The local newspaper needs someone a few hours a week to do some proofreading and a retired English teacher fit their needs. I accepted, and I completed my first week last week.
I really like the work. The atmosphere is quite easy and congenial, yet everyone takes their jobs seriously. I worked really hard while I was there, and, unlike teaching, I left it there when I left for the day.
Overall, it is a good fit for me, and I hope that I can continue indefinitely. I’m not sure if the paper will keep this position permanently, but it is good for me for now.
So that is my new beginning, and I am happy with reinventing myself yet again. That is also one of the fun things about retirement. I can keep reinventing as many times as I want! Hope everyone has a great week!