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.
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!