Archive for May, 2018

Into the Swing of Things

May 31, 2018

This past weekend we started tackling a project that’s been getting kicked around for over a year now since we bought a couple of used slides for forty bucks. We decided to put a playset in the backyard. We got the wood we needed for the basic structure, we have the swings and hardware. We had the slides. We were reasonably ready to go.

Then the weather decided to go nuclear on us and turn the weekend into a 90+ degree march through misery. Everything took longer. Everything was more tiring. We got through what we could, which was getting four corner posts up and frames built around them. But that’s as far as we got on Saturday.

Sunday came around, it was even hotter, and I was pretty burned out from the day before.  None of us wanted to spend a lot of time out in the sun, so we busied ourselves around the house before venturing out for ice cream and to go to Target. We needed to look for shoes anyway, our son had started complaining about his shoes feeling a little tight.

It turned out that his shoes were 2 1/2 sizes too small. Yeah, I guess that would be a little tight.

We struck out at Target, partly because their version of a sale is have that stupid cartwheel thing and we lost our password for that long ago. We then tried Kohl’s, and didn’t have any luck. The Wife lamented KMart closing and I said I thought there was still one a few towns over, 30 minutes more or less. And so I had set the agenda for the following day.

Which was still far too hot. The good news is that KMart came through. They had a bogo sale, we got a bunch of shoes for $60, and saved ourselves some money.  The bad news is that our favorite donut shop was closed for the holiday and by the time we got home it was time for supper, and the Wife and Boy went to the local animal shelter to walk dogs. So, nothing got done again on the playset.

Another problem with the playset popped up. The Wife changed the design slightly halfway through working on it Saturday, and now we’re going to have to get more lumber, screws, etc. I had been trying to bare bones it as much as possible, and now I’m going to have to get a bit more involved with it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, we had been planning to build off it over time and enlarge it a bit, but it does mean more money will be dumped into it now, which…ugh.

So, I now have a half-finished swing set in the backyard, a bit of a sun burn, and I’m already tired of the heat. And July and August are still in the wings, waiting for their time to take the stage.

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New Storage

May 14, 2018

I spent the weekend hacking out a small project in the kitchen. We moved the fridge, opening up a little alcove for some work. Considering we’re going to end up tearing it all out at some point in the near future (within 3 years), we didn’t want anything overly permanent there. So, with $40 in materials, I put together a wooden counter top with a plywood shelf beneath it.

It’s something that shouldn’t be a big deal, but it was nice just having a smaller project that could be knocked out with relative ease and be “done” with. This sense of accomplishment with something being essentially finished doesn’t happen a lot for me these days. It seems everything is long term, and I don’t have time to really work on any of it, so it’s this snail pace thing where it feels like nothing is ever finished. It’s miserable. So just having something that I could put together over a day or so is tremendous.

Also, it looks good. I didn’t think I would warm to the idea of wooden countertops but after seeing this (very) rough version, I can see the appeal. It brightens the kitchen, it’s warm. I’m not sure how well it would work as an every day, hard use counter top, though. It’s not a traditional butcher block top with a bunch of pieces set on end and press/glued together. It’s just five 1 inch thick planks laid across a frame (not even actual kitchen cabinets but literally just a frame built into place to take this top). I’m not sure I’d like a traditional butcher block as much, though.

I’m thinking of doing this sort of counter top in the laundry room. It would be affordable, look nice, and help keep a small space bright. The affordable part is probably the best part.