Friday, January 2, 2009

Carpet, part Deux, and Happy Birthday Dad!

I would love to put hard flooring down under the dining table, but our house's areas sort of flow into one another. You come in and you're in the living room, no foyer. That's the area with the big brown couch, the chocolate curtains, etc. Then there's a 6 foot opening into the kitchen/dining area. The kitchen has beautiful new tile. I could ask BJ to install tile all the way across the dining area, but 1) we think it would look screwy next to the brick of the fireplace, and 2) it would take him 1000 years to get it installed, and I don't think he'd love me anymore when he was finished.

We have a light brown laminate in the family room, which we could extend into the dining area, and then put carpet in the living room, but 1) Max has a really hard time walking on the laminate, with her weird legs that need surgery (in the spring), and 2) due to the dark cabinets in my kitchen, I don't think that the color would work. We would need hundreds of rugs, to keep the dog from ice skating around, and the kids would roll each other up in them and stack them and put their dolls down for naps in them, and Max would ice skate anyway, and I would spend my entire life putting rugs back where they belong, and I would go nuts.

I think, unfortunately, we're stuck with carpet for the eating area.

It needs to be extremely durable. I almost always come in the house via the garage door, which is right next to the table, and so it gets a lot of wear. It's 600 sq/ft or so, and it's the highest traffic area of our house. Honestly, if I could find a nice indoor/outdoor carpet, I might be tempted to put that down!

I'm giving a lot of thought to Empire. That could be the way to go. Maybe a Professional Flooring Consultant would have good ideas for how to address this weird, huge area of our house.

In other news... Today is Grandpa Bob's birthday! Happy birthday Dad! In honor of Dad's birthday, I am going to share a Top Secret Family Recipe with you. This is the recipe for Welsh Cookies, Dad's favorite, which I made for him yesterday. I'm not sure where the recipe originally came from, but I imagine it was the brainchild of someone who sold beverages, as these are the driest cookies on the planet.

Welsh Cookies

4 C flour
1 C sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 C Crisco
3/4 C raisins (go nuts and add more - they're the best part)
2 well beaten eggs
1/2 C milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Cut in Crisco as if for pie crust. Add everything else, except the raisins, and mix. Add raisins. Roll onto a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick (they puff up when you cook them). Cut out with a cookie cutter (we made hearts) and fry at low heat (250 - 300 degrees) on a dry griddle/nonstick pan. Turn when cookies have puffed up, and when the edges are dry.

Eat with lots and lots of fluids.

They're good when they're hot, but they're not so good when they're cold. Dad loves them, though. So I make them once a year, and I tease him about them the whole time. It's kind of a tradition. I'll tell you what, it's a lot easier now that I have a pastry cutter and a rolling pin - I've made them with forks for cutting in the Crisco and rolled them with 2 liter bottles, and that's just silly.

Happy Birthday Dad!


Jenny, the Bloggess said...

Those cookies sound delish.

Anonymous said...

Jenny, those cookies are the best! 100 years ago (or yesterday with my memory) my Mom sent me some while in the air force. Only a few were eaten by the other 50 guys so I had lots!!!

Amy, thanks for the good wishes, books, pizza and allowing me to play with the girls. One of my best birthdays ever.

Love ya lots,

Kathryn said...

How about posting some pictures ala Ree of the kitchen/eating area/living room/family room so we can get a look atthe area.

Barbara said...

You know precisely how much I hate carpet. The biggest downside of carpeting is that it isn't very friendly for allergy sufferers or anyone who is concerned about indoor pollution, such as pollen, dust, pet dander, mold, and mildew. Carpets can be breeding grounds for all of these. Even if you vacuum and wash your carpets on a regular basis, it is impossible to really get them clean, because dust and grime sift through the backing of the carpet and get between it and the underlying pad. Not to mention that dampness from a carpet shampooing can actually encourage more things to grow.

Hardwood floors, on the other hand, don't hide dust, dirt, mildew, etc. The finish that's applied to the floorboards protects them from penetration. That is why hardwood floors are a superior choice, not only for aesthetic reasons but because they simply allow for a healthier living environment than carpets do.

As you know, my floors are maple and I have lots of oak trim that is very dark and contrasts with the floors; similar to your light colored flooring in the family room and your kitchen cabinets. I would not be concerned about everything matching perfectly! The two colors will complement each other, I promise. Furthermore, wait until Max has her surgery in the spring and she has her strength back, and then extend the laminate flooring into the dining room.

P.S. Happy Birthday Grandpa Bob! Hope you enjoyed those cookies!

Leslie said...

How about FLOR modular carpeting? You can make carpets or area rugs, and they're washable and easily replaceable. I think that aspect makes it ideal for a family with children, high-traffic areas, and especially for eating areas. I'm considering it for our own living room, and plan to order next month, I think. Check out their website!