Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Excuse Me for a Minute, Please... My Cat Is on Fire...

Last night I hosted Book Club at our apartment. This month we read Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro. It's a very good book, but quite disturbing. Definitely not a "beach read," nothing that would let you escape in a delightful story, but certainly worth reading. I won't say any more because if I do, I could easily spoil it for you.

 
This was probably one of the few nights of the year when EVERYTHING was put away as much as possible, decluttered (I know it's not a word, but you know what I mean), etc. We moved as much of the stuff in our entryway as possible into the master bedroom, freeing up space for everyone's coats and boots. 

I volunteered to host in December since I knew the place would be decorated for Christmas and it would probably be pretty cosy. I also knew that it would give me necessary "kick in the pants" to get things organized before leaving for the USA. 

I didn't realize back then, however, that I would now have been sick for over a month. This bronchitis/sinus infection just won't go away. My throat is so sore from the congestion and I'm so weak compared to how I felt when running a lot...

In any case, with the apartment so clean and decorated, I figured I should take some pictures... First of all, here's our door; I love these paper snowflakes! I first learned to make them in Martha Stewart's children's magazine (since discontinued). 


Here's the empty entryway... Note the pretty lights and candles. More on that in a bit.


My treasured Yankee Candle housewarmer candles set the mood... I have the scent of Christmas trees in one room and vanilla Christmas cookies in another... They're heavy to bring back, but worth it... My "comfort food" for the senses.


The tree looked nice, too. 


The girls really like the Christmas lights that I've added to their window and bedrails. The ones on their beds are yellow and light green butterflies; they look really neat in the dark!


Under Natalia's bed you can see one of her favorite birthday presents (yeah, I'll get to that post, too...): her little blackboard! Evidently Molly needs to still work on her spelling, tee hee!


Now that we know we are getting a piano, I went ahead and hung artwork on our empty dining area wall at the appropriate hight. You can see Natalia's painting of Asya and Katya'a painting about feeling many different emotions at once. We borrowed that keyboard from friends for the week so Katya could rehearse for her recital (more about that later, too... It has been a really busy week...).


Ah, but then back to book club... Sure, our focus is primarily on the books... But come on, isn't it usually about the food, too?! First we had veggies and crackers with ranch dip (such a treat when living here; I bring back the seasoning from America) and hummus. 


Then we had my roasted vegetable lasagna... Sorry, no picture... And THEN.... TAH DAH!


Endpaper Chocolate Tart and Tiramisu! I will do a separate post with those recipes. They are AMAZING.

Back to my post's title, though, since I bet that's why you're still reading...! So we're all sitting in a circle, discussing the book, when out of the corner of my eye I saw Lyalya jump up onto the drawers in the entryway. Look closely...


Yup. As soon as I saw it, WHOOOOOOSH!!!! His tail literally shot up in flames, blazing along the edge of his fur, not hurting him one bit. I politely excused myself (I can't believe I actually did that!) and put out his tail with my hands. Wow. Burnt cat fur really smells, and really made me glad I had my fragrant Yankee Candles lit...

He had had a run-in with a candle last year, and I thought he had learned his lesson... I guess not.

I don't usually use tea lights because of the cats, but I love how they look and I wanted our place to look really nice for the holidays... I guess I'll only use them from now on when the cats are shut in my bedroom. 

The funny thing? An idiom I had to teach today was just this, no joke! "Curiosity killed the cat!" I actually laughed out loud in class when I saw it :-)

11 comments:

Natalie said...

That is so funny. I can't believe that. My sister Shannon's friend lit a candle on her dresser once, went into the bathroom to take a bath, when she came out, her cat had knocked it over and the whole apartment BUILDING caught on fire! I'm really glad you caught it before that happened. What kind of trouble could that cause you over there in Russia? Seems like you can get away with just about anything here, as you know, as long as you can prove it was an accident. I have had so much fun this year with Christmas! It's really fun to decorate for it and get into the spirit.

Carey and Norman said...

I cannot imagine. Memories like these are priceless.

Tami said...

Laughing. Out. Loud. Hysterical. Tears. Lots of tears. That is so funny. Okaym I know I shouldn't laugh...I mean, I'm married to a vet for heaven sakes, but the fact that you were calm enough to excuse yourself sent me over the edge! :)

Tina in CT said...

Poor Lyalya. Thank goodness you saw it and a fire didn't start as I'd hate to think about that. No more candles unless the cats are shut up or crated I think.

You need to see a good American doctor when you are back in the States.

Tina in CT said...

I recognize the Xmas cross stitch and knitted snowmen I made for you years ago.

Can you email photocopy the snowflake directions as Diane would love to make them with Chloe I'm sure. She loves Martha and is going to her show the first week of January w/Beth.

garnet said...

The snowflakes are beautiful. I wonder if I have that magazine here -- I don't remember seeing them but I thought I had every issue. I miss that magazine.

I can't believe you were so calm about the cat. I think I would have panicked. Hope he (she) is ok, now!

Oh, the desserts look fantastic!

ourboysourlives said...

your place looks so great...I love how everything goes up...you have done such a great job with the space you have....the girls room is beautiful enough to be in a magazine...

Anonymous said...

Your house looks wonderful!
Sorry about cats tail.
Olga

Rachael said...

Never a dull moment.

Please, please share the dessert recipes. I LOVE tiramisu and yours looks fab.

Anonymous said...

gotta...gotta...gotta have that endpaper torte recipe!!! i remember when you made that for us - was it the dance recital at my apt with the levans? or your apt? it is ***too die for*** and i can't find it anywhere. plus, may i remind you that you also promised the lasagne and chili recipe? wow, i miss your cooking... pics of your apt make me "homesick"...sniff sniff...

miss you!
jeannie

Annie said...

Ha! One of my favorite memories as a guest was the time my friend was having this really elegant bridal shower, and out of the corner of my eye I saw her cat jump up on the table and begin to lick the frosting. Janice's back was to the table; I think she was the only one who had no idea the cat was eating the cake. But everyone was very polite, and no one said a word.