On December 5th the City had their Winter Wonderland Fair before the Annual Electric Light Parade. Here is me representing the library, inspired from How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Some months I write a shopping list for items readers can buy themselves or for other people, but in September and December I usually pen what have been lusting after. Despite my holiday gift-giving themes, it does not apply to others bestowing me with presents in the same vein. If, say the theme is Eco-Friendly gifts, and someone want to purchase a Cadillac Ciel for me this Christmas . . . well, I wouldn’t turn it down!
Below is a list eight of seemingly random things I would love for Christmas.
I am in a nesting mood. I have been issuing my upmost restraint not to buy out Home Depot. As you know, I am having my floors redone this month and while my timeline to finish up Diamondleaf Cottage focuses more on the public spaces, I would love this crown moulding for my master bedroom. Cottage Princess-y, no?
Continuing with the nesting thread, I have an open floor plan and to separate the dining and parlor space I wanted a tall curio cabinet to place between the two areas. An antique curio cabinet, such as the one above, would be a dream!
I’m in my 30s and I still do not own a matching set of silverware. This needs to be fixed. I was saving to add it to my wedding registry with intent of entertaining as a couple. The wedding is not to be, but I still feel I ought to have some pretty forks that match. Right?
In the distant future, when I finally finish the inside of the cottage to my liking (maybe I’ll never move!), I have it in mind to take my creativity outside with a wonderfully sturdy cast iron patio set. Naturally, I would repaint it to echo my aesthetic perhaps in a hot pink or royal blue.
I have quite a bit of blank wall space in the master bedroom, it was organically intend for a large wedding portrait, but let’s not go there . . . who is to say I cannot sit for a beautiful oil portrait to place in that spot anyways?
In previous years I have posted utilitarian corsets and this year is no different, because I still don’t have one. I love the modesty of the over bust corset, but after wearing one . . . well, I’m too small chested to begin with. . . I do not care for the way it looks. Under-bust is probably the way to go with my body shape.
Here is another repeat; the Battenburg Lace Parasol. I live in Arizona. I’m very pale . . . it makes sense. More importantly, it will make me feel like a classy 19th Century Modern lady sashaying down the sidewalk.
I need this because Reasons.
My Nana passed away earlier this month and it is a heavy burden for my mother to bear. I had promised her in the months prior to my Nana’s demise, when the time came, I would be Mother’s Handmaiden. What I mean is, I will support her and assist with estate clearing matters. No small feat! You see, my mother is one of seven children and the only girl. Due to family politics, my mother was left in charge of executing the Trust, clearing out the Estate, and selling all the properties.
My sweet mother is allowing me to administer to her in my “gentle militant” way of clearing out the house. . . . Well, actually she said “Since you’re so bossy . . .” My job, at this point, is to keep her on track and makes sure she meets the one year deadline. I force her to put items in one of four piles. I allow for stories that organically come out from discovering cherish memories. I keep chatty visitors to a limit and use others to deflect conversation, so she can go back to working through her childhood home.
It is rough going. She is saving string. STRING! I caution her, everything she is saving in the estate for the moment, will be need to revisited. She acknowledges this and I don’t push her further. She is still grieving and everyone grieves differently. Besides, it is tough to make decisions when one’s brain is foggy with grief. My mother desperately wants to be thorough with the house to honor my Nana. They are not decisions I can make. If it were me I might sell or give away more pieces, but it is not my jurisdiction. I’m just the Handmaiden.
I am proud to say we have gone through all the drawers and closets in the three bedrooms, both bathrooms, and three linen closets in one week. The first bedroom took 10 hours to complete. 10 HOURS people! We have given 11 bags to the charity, just as much to sell at a later date and a boat load of stuff we are keeping. . . momentarily . . . I hope. We still have the dining room, living room and, Lord help us, the kitchen and Billiard’s Room to sort through. Then we will move on to furniture and big ticket items, and last the garage and car port. . . oy vey!
Of course in the process of clearing out the estate, we have made wonderful discoveries. A picture of my great-grandmother! My Nana’s wedding dress from the 1920s! Money, naturally–which goes back into the estate. Some hideous linen and décor from the 1970s. *gag* Seriously! My grandfather’s guns. Newspaper clippings from the 1950s to present. Many items from my Tio/Uncle who died in Vietnam; his uniform, his suitcases, a trunk full of letters . . . these are understandably hard on my mother. My poor, poor mother. I hurt for her, but we solider on.
Depending on one’s class and gender, it was entirely different for the Victorians. Any child born with a modicum of aristocracy would be familiar with the snare of Entail. Entail is a way to keep all the real estate and titles in the family by way of the eldest son. Through rules of primogeniture, entail could only pass to and through a male heir. So in the case of families who only have daughters, another male heir was sought out. If the father did not have any brothers who had sons, it would work its way back up the family tree to find a line male to male. This means if one of the three daughters had a son, it could not pass on down to him. Furthermore, primogeniture is distinguished by legitimate heirs, meaning the parents had to be married for nine months prior to the birth of the son; no bastard children. Picky, picky! What’s worse, if no living male descendent is found the title and the real estate “die” with the last title holder. All females of the line could be displaced and without a living, as a result. So sons and sons of sons were imperative for the aristocracy to hold their position in society.
With Entail there was never any need to clear out an Estate, it would just be inherited for the next generation and so on and so forth. However, if one was without a tile or not Gentry, it is possible to be kicked out of the house. It was more along the lines of “as long as someone is willing to pay the rent,” the poorer people could live in the cottage.
Real Estate was synonymous with wealth. The more land one had, the richer the person was, because the maintenance was incredible and space was a premium. Entail forced heirs to keep the land in tack. They were not allowed to segment it and sell it to pay off their debts. However, they could buy and acquire more land . . .
I changed the 19th Century Modern Header. . . as if you didn’t notice. “Doyenne” makes her appearance! Think of it as a calling card from me to you.
For those who have been with me for a while, know I planned to update this blog along with the new chapters in my life. While, I thought my next installment was wedded bliss, it was not to be. Nevertheless, this is a new chapter! So let the changes begin and the character arch flow!
Slowly, but surely, I will be updating my pages. I’ll still provide 19th century inspired posts with a modern twist and smatterings of my personal life as I continue along. Things can only get better from here on out, right? . . . Right???