Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In which I describe my new ventures . . .

As I sit here typing this I'm still watching snow blow around outside. Our front window faces west, so the snow looks like it's just blowing sideways outside as the vicious wind whips down from the north. Also, we're alone out here, so there are no other buildings to block the wind. What does this all mean? Huge drifts that will threaten to blow over our freshly shoveled driveway every day. Hooray!

In other news, I have decided to take up a few things to keep myself busy this winter as I continue to navigate the waiting game that is trying to start a family. And, to give myself a little bit of a rush, I've decided to tell you in list form. Nothing makes me more calm than making lists. Well, maybe budgets. Or hourly calendars. I'm not a control-freak, really. I can stop whenever I want.

1. Creating winter organization systems. 

Our front closet worked quite well during the summer and fall. But since fall has officially left the building up here in the Great White North, it's time to rethink things a little. Our house has a great front mudroom, which we affectionately call The Airlock. We call it that because we essentially have two front doors, and the second one blocks off all the cold air that collects in the mudroom. Our main closet is there, and it currently holds all of our coats, hats, scarves, gloves, and outdoor shoes. 

There's just one problem with this set up for the winter. 

This ramp is the way to the front door. As you can probably imagine, it's the perfect place for ice and packed snow. We'll keep it clear and salted, especially when we have guests, but it's not the most convenient place for us to enter during the winter. 

The most convenient place for us is right back where that tiny, little Levi is shoveling. The side door of our garage and the side door of our house line up perfectly, meaning that we'd only have to venture into the wind for a few seconds on chilly mornings. This also means that our back mudroom needs to contain some storage for coats, hats, gloves, scarves, and outdoor shoes. 

Since the snow started, we've been using the back door, and this is what our organizational system currently looks like. 

I think Diego feels what I feel. It simply will not do. My plan right now is to find a secondhand rack with pegs to put on the wall, perhaps even a shelf or two to hold our gloves, etc. I'd like to have something in which to store our shoes, and a small stool or chair for that corner. That'd be great to sit on while pulling on and lacing up boots and winter shoes. 

2. Learning how to play the guitar . . . finally.

I play more than one instrument. I've picked most things up fairly easily, and I'm working on playing a drum set right now. The one instrument that would be the most versatile and mobile, though, would be the guitar. 

I always refused to play the guitar. It might have something to do with the fact that I thought my hand wasn't big enough to stretch for bar chords, or it might have something to do with the fact that I dated a guitar player for years and it didn't end well. You take your pick. 

Either way, I'm finally sucking it up and learning. I'm trying to memorize the different chords right now, and I'm slowly working on muscle memory. Switching from chord to chord is SO HARD. But I'm determined to learn, and I'm determined to play. Well. 

I'm working on a few songs right now, but this is the one I've always wanted to learn. It's called "Desert Song" by Hillsong United. 

One of the things I love about this performance is the story behind it. The second woman to sing is named Jill McCloghry. This song became real to her about a week before this performance when her son was born at 24 weeks old. She and her husband got to be with him for 24 hours before he passed away. Jill decided to continue with her signing, despite her brokenness, and through that process she was able to believe God and His promises again. If you want to see the full story, check it out here.

I can't wait to play this song.

3. Repairing a $10 chair

I have this habit of scrolling through Craigslist and the various Facebook community garage sale pages looking for excellent deals. 

I was engaging in this nasty habit when I came across something that seemed too good to be true. A lovely, gold-colored chair for only $10. In the picture it looked like it just had a small rip across the back of the cushion, so I snatched it up. I thought it could work on our living room because we need more seating, or that it would work in the baby's room as a place to rest during feedings. 

When we picked up the chair (in a back alley during a snow storm no less) it looked considerably worse for wear. I'd already planned on repairing it, so now I realized I'd have even more chances to practice my first attempts at upholstery repair. 

Here's the chair. 

Here, you can see the side panel is pulling away from the body of the chair. And that's not a tiny fifth chair leg. That's the trim that's ripped out from under the chair. 

You can see it a little better from this angle.  
This is the rip along the back of the seat. 

This is where you can really see the chair's issues. A lot of repair work to be done here, folks. 

When we got the chair home it became evident that it had clearly been in a home with many young children. In the last picture you can just barely make out the red marker streak along the front. Before we brought it in, we tipped it over and pulled all the stuff out from the inside. We may or may not have found:

  1. A number of crayons
  2. Store receipts
  3. Polly Pocket pieces
  4. Hairbands
  5. A Target bag
  6. A woman's flip flop sandal
  7. A girl's pink sparkly TOMS shoe
It was quite the haul. 


So these are the projects I'm going to work on for a little while. I'll be keeping y'all updated as I slowly progress through each one. I honestly can't decide which one I'm more eager to get finished!
Keep it real, 

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