Lucky Gypsy’s Tea

BY VALERIE BELDEN WILDER
Columbia County, New York  I  Saturday, 17 March 2018

I just rearranged my combined living room/dining room (LRDR) last week, to accommodate all my thrift store chairs. I now have eight coordinating chairs, and this pretty much makes me deliriously happy!

I’m not ready to take pix of the entire room yet, as I still have some cluttery piles to get rid of (No way! You?!), but I wanted to show a little sneak peek of my fab chair material.

The other day, the sun was beaming in my windows. “So what?” you ask. Well, turns out that’s kind of a big deal, because this has been the worst March on record. At least, my record of being here for two months of March, as an adult.

We’ve had three Nor’Easters in March, and the month is only half over!

So, I decided to rearrange a little bit, just to cheer myself up. Ever since I’ve moved here, I’ve had my loveseat under the south-facing window, a really pleasant spot. I decided to move it onto the west wall, though.

I mentioned I had some new old chairs, right? Did I tell you I have eight dining room chairs now, and they make me deliriously happy? Ya, maybe I did.

I was determined I had to fit all eight of them into my LRDR, because the seat fabrics mix and match so well.

Two of them are covered in orange and yellow brocade, and they’re the ones I’ve had for about a year now. I’ve mentioned them in my blog before.

A few months ago, I was cruising Warren Street, where all the antique ships are. Now, just to preface, I gotta tell ya, you have to be careful on Warren Street, because some shops are super expensive.

I dashed into one store about a month ago, because I’d been driving down Warren in the dark, and saw a great big, beautiful poster of Freddie Mercury in the front of the shop, hanging on a wall, peering out onto Warren, beckoning me to enter.

When I inquired how much for the poster, the shop guy casually said, “14 THOUSAND something something.” Okaaay…

Yeah, so, let’s get back into my budgetland, the reasonable one. There’s this other place on Warren, called Second Show, and it’s very affordable. It’s merchandised much better than a Goodwill or Deseret Industries, and prices are pretty low. The proceeds benefit Columbia Memorial Hospital, and you can pick up a crystal goblet for 50 cents or $1.

Or, you can get four dark-wood Broyhill chairs, two with arms and two without, all with immaculate olive damask seats, four chairs for $30.

And then, as if that’s not enough, you can turn around and see two more chairs to love, in honey-colored wood, with seats covered in fabric of yellow, orange, olive, and gold stripes. Two chairs for $12.

You should have seen me, cackling and cramming them into my sedan. Let’s just say, it took several trips to get them home.

So, getting back to rearranging that day. I decided to put two chairs with olive brocade seats (the ones with arms) under the LRDR windows, separated by a small table with butterflies.

I don’t think you need to have big end tables. If you’re like me, they gather too much…stuff.

So this end table, it’s just big enough to hold a lamp, and a shamrock plant I brought up from downstairs. It’s the very first plant I’ve had in any of my places, since I killed all my plants in a UHaul about 19 years ago. That’s another story for another blog.

And the lamp? It’s a fab Hollywood Regency one I got at Antigo on Warren Street, for only $25. The shade isn’t quite right, but for now, it’ll do. I also got another Regency lamp that day, but it has no shade at all, so for now, it’s languishing, unused.

And lemme tell you, in the afternoon, when the sun comes through those south-facing windows, the crystals on the lamp base send happy little rainbows all over my LRDR floor.

Somehow, when I type “happy little rainbows”, I’m reminded of Bob Ross, the painter on TV, with his soothing voice and impossible afro, saying “happy little trees”…

So then, I put the two chairs with striped-seats on the north wall, separated by a waist-high entertainment center. I’m not really sure what to use this for, since I don’t have a TV and don’t really care.

For now, it holds my CDs and a small collection of DVDS, but I’m thinking I’ve gotta get some books in there, too. My books are like dirty socks, collecting in piles around the place, multiplying overnight.

Ewww, did she really just compare piles of books to piles of dirty socks? This chick is weird. Hahaha!

Around my dining room table, I have the other two Broyhill chairs with the olive damask seats (the ones without the arms), and the two chairs with orange and yellow brocade seats.

I tried it with all four olive damask chairs around the table, thinking they all should match, but it just didn’t work in the space available.

The chairs with the arms don’t work right in such a tight space. Anyone sitting at the table would have a very hard time maneuvering into and out of a chair with arms, since there’s not a lot of room to push a chair back.

I’m pretty happy with how things turned out, that I was able to fit all eight chairs into the room, along with my loveseat, a rather large china cabinet, and the entertainment center. Oh! And my trunk! I use it as a coffee table, in front of the loveseat, and it’s olive-colored.

There was just no way I was gonna put any of those eight chairs into another room, considering I was so pleased with how all the seat materials coordinated.

I made ’em fit. It was almost as exciting as playing 100 straight games of Tetris in the mid 90s. Hahaha!

Then the other day, the sun was shining in, a perfect day to take pictures. Finally!

I’d made a batch of Frost’s Oatmeal Muffins which turned out really well. And, even though I make this recipe quite often, because I love them and so does my skinny little Thing 2, they don’t always turn out right.

Usually, these muffins just melt in your mouth, but the batch I made last time turned out a bit tough. Don’t know if it’s because I overstirred the batter, or because I overbaked them, maybe it was both. Distracted baking never ends well…

I’ve also found a new herb tea to love, Gypsy Cold Care. I sampled it at Hawthorne Valley Farm Store, and really like its slightly licorice flavor. Me buying an entire box of it has nooooothing to do with it having the word “gypsy” in the name, hahaha. Just kidding, it totally does.

I decided to make up a little tray and just sit under the window, having tea for one, just me. Enjoying the sun beaming in on my shoulders, the rainbows on my floor, a warm muffin with lingonberry jam, and a cup of hot tea.

And also, the satisfaction of gazing around my LRDR with eight matching chairs, fully knowing I moved here 1 1/2 years ago, with only nine suitcases of stuff…

I feel like such a lucky gypsy.