Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Step 1, Take 2

Y'all might want to say a prayer for me. I'm about to go at this chair with some wood glue.

If I mess this up, I won't be able to look Bob in the eye. (He's skilled with wood-working and is still willing to glue the thing for me.)

But thanks to my [foolish?] pride, I'd really like to do this whole thing myself.

I may regret it.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Chair, Step 1

So, as I was loading the chair into the back of the van (and Bob reluctantly came to my aid), I realized that one of the legs was, I thought, loose.

That would have been nice.

One of the legs is, in fact, barely attached. As a result, I don't even know if the chair I rescued is comfortable; you can't even sit on it without it collapsing. At least you fall forward-- I hate falling backward.

Bob wanted to glue the thing for me (less an act of chivalry than a self-protective measure, since I've never glued wood before in my life), but alas, he was headed out of town and did not have the time to do it. But he did give me a pointer or two. Namely, put the thing together, clamp it, and make sure you know what you're doing -- THEN unclamp, glue, and reclamp.

So I pulled back the upholstery to reveal the injury, put the thing back together (this involved a mallet), located the clamps, and secured them. Then I put the chair up on its feet, only to discover that the newly clamped leg is about a half-inch lower than its three siblings. Ta-da! The wingback chair is now a rocking chair!


I think I know the problem, but I'm not sure I have the wherewithal to tackle it yet tonight.

Meanwhile, this is the only thing I've done to the chair, other than look at upholstery fabrics at the store, which was totally cart-before-horse of me. And the clock keeps on ticking.

36 days.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tick Tick Tick...

Nope, not my biological clock.

But the countdown Bob & I agreed on for a chair I picked up off a curb. 45 days. If I don't have the chair presentable in 45 days, it's going back out to the curb.

Questions: Am I skilled enough to reupholster something? (I've never reupholstered anything in my life.)
Will I have the time to get this done in 45 days?
Should I just totally make it mine, or should I run upholstery & stain ideas past Bob?
Is this piece of furniture even worth it?

It has sweet lines, and we could use more soft chairs, either in the sunroom, or the foyer, or both.

Am I crazy?

Bob thinks so. I may be. But at least there's an end to the craziness. 45 days, one way or the other.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


In May 2009, we bought Bob a beater. A really ugly 1987 Toyota Corolla. We'd been a two-car-payment family for too long, and we were sick of it, so when his car was totaled in an accident, we decided to go ahead and pay cash for a cheap car.

I was disappointed. I'm a car-lover, and this car was exceptionally not exciting. Rust, dents, dings. Some clear packing tape on one of the headlights. The car came with a custom-cut piece of wood to prop the trunk open, and it had to be closed just so. Some more packing tape on the ceiling of the car, plus, horrors, no cup-holders.

Anyway, it has served us really well. That little car always starts, always runs well. It is the opposite of zippy, and it's a bit noisy, but it's totally reliable.

In early September, our friend Lindsey is going to England. While she's gone, Bob's going to drive her 2005 Ford Focus. There's no sense in keeping the Corolla. We never planned to keep it long-term anyway. So, late Monday night, (well, technically, early Tuesday morning), I posted the car on Craigslist. No pictures, not a whole lot of details. When I got up Tuesday morning, I had an email waiting for me from a guy who was VERY interested in the car. We exchanged a ton of emails back and forth, and they came to see the car at 4:30 that day.

They pulled up in an almost identical Toyota Corolla. (I said to Caroline, "Doesn't their car look just like Daddy's?" And she said, "No, look at their wheels!" That girl is detail-oriented. They had much, much newer tires.) Turns out they were shopping for a car for their son who's about to start his senior year in high school. We really liked them.

They took it for a test drive, and then came and picked it up this morning to have it checked out by their mechanic. They called me this afternoon to say that their mechanic said there was nothing wrong with it beyond old age: that it was safe and would be reliable, and was a good deal. So they just came by with $650 cash.

We bought it for $525.

My grandfather, who loved to make money, would be so proud. Who makes money on a 23-year-old car?

Grandpa, I've never forgotten the day that, as you were pulling out of the driveway, you yelled back to me, "Buy low, sell high!" Of all the parting words, those were the ones you chose. I sure do miss you.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Garden Update

I've been letting my fears get the best of me.

You know, we have snakes in our yard. And I've been afraid from the start that the snakes would end up in the garden, and I'd reach into some plant to get a veggie, and I'd touch a snake. I'm not actually afraid of getting bitten; they seem as eager to get away from me, as I them.

Anyway, as the plants have gotten bigger (and bigger) (and BIGGER), my fear has grown. I've failed to mow around the beds, since the plants are growing out into the "paths" and I don't want to mow part of my squash (or zucchini, or cucumber) plants along with the grass.

So, the grass around the beds is overgrown. The plants are huge and overgrown. And today, I decided I should do something about it. I got out our little reel mower, thinking it might be easier to control than our heavy, self-propelled mower. I did a bit of weeding. I threw some overgrown squash & zucchini in the compost pile. (The snake skin on top of a zucchini did nothing to allay my fears.) And I started mowing a bit. All went well until I realized there was a snake in the blades of my mower. I stopped immediately, and it slithered off ... into my zucchini plant. Shudder.

I did a little bit more work before calling it a day. It's hot out, and I just didn't have it in me to stay out for too long. I'm maybe a third of the way done with weeding & mowing. Well, no. Probably a fourth. I did stop to harvest some zucchini, though ... after carefully checking to make sure I could see no snakes.

Next up: zucchini bread!