Wednesday, June 25, 2014

That time I became a carpenter.

When I move into a new place I go somewhat comakazi in the decorating department. I walk in and I see all of my “For the Home” Pinterest boards coming to life. Brandon sees trouble.

The first thing that I wanted to add to our humble abode was an entry table. I’ve never had one and they always look so endearing and welcoming. We scourged the isles of the furniture monstrosity also known as Ikea, which is an adventure in itself. It left us tableless so we traipsed through Target, frolicked through Furniture Row, and hustled through Hobby Lobby. To no avail a cute entry table was not to be found. I had a pretty specific area it needed to fill, and an idea in my head that it needed to live up to.

What I did tumble into was a website outlining how to build your own table, and that's exactly what I decided to do. You can visit said website here. She didn’t give specific instructions, so it made it a little tricky for me, especially since this was my first time ever building a table. Because I am feeling generous, and I’m downright proud of my accomplishment, I will give you some basic instructions and photos if you would also like to become a carpenter as well.

Happy building!

Wood Glue
Paint brushes
Tape Measurer
Cute little knobs (I got mine from Hobby Lobby)
The Wood:
Table Top: 1” (thickness) x36” (length) x17.5”(depth)
Legs: I bought 2 2x2’s and had the nice man at home depot cut them in 31” lengths
Front/back: 2 1x6 pieces cut 31.5" long
Sides: 2 1x6 boards cut 10" long
Bottom supports: 2 2x2’s cut 31.5” long and 2 more cut 10” long.
Bottom Slats: 5 1x6 boards 12” long
Drawers: 3 1x4 cut inch 8” lengths
1. Put the legs, sides, and back piece on top of the top piece. Make sure that when you glue them all together they touch. This was a little tricky. At first I glued then put the back piece in and it was waaay off. I had to gauge it all then glue again. I did measure it to make sure it was even all around. 
2. It needs to dry for about an hour before you can nail it in. While it's drying put together the front piece. 
3. Sand down the front piece and the drawers. Glue them on and let them dry. 
4. When everything is dry nail them all in. I included my handy husband in this part. He's a much better nailer :)
 You can see that we put two nails in each side. This helped make it extra sturdy. 
5. Now it's time to work on the bottom part. Glue the bottom 2x2 supports about 5 inches up from the ground. Like with the top part, make sure they are all nice and snug. You don't want any gaps in those. Let them dry for an hour or so.
6. Then nail those suckers in. 
7. Place the slats evenly on the 2x2 supports. Glue them, and once they're dry nail them in. When everything is nailed in give the table a good sand. Take off those rough edges and get it paint ready.
8. Stain away!
 I stained the entire table, but later realized this was totally unnecessary. 
 9. I chose to paint the entire table, except for the top, white. The paint was a little too shiny and thick for my tastes-but there was no way I was going to Home Depot again.
10. Let the paint dry, add the knobs, then wa-la! Let me present the table.
One of the reasons I wanted a table so bad was because we didn't have anywhere to keep our keys. They were scattered everywhere and it was driving me crazy. 
And there you have it folks, a homemade entry way table. It was the little adventure to build, and something exciting and different to try. And really, it wasn't too hard. Have fun becoming a carpenter.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Thoughts in a garage.

The other day I found myself in my new garage for an extended period of time. Not by choice, of course. The door turned phantom on me and locked me out—for real. Instead of doing practical stuff like organizing the garage (which is obviously a man’s job) I hopped in the Honda and felt terribly sorry for myself.

I did all the logical things to try and get myself back in, obviously. I strolled up the street and borrowed some complete strangers phone to call Brandon. I tried hoisting myself up onto our patio on the second floor, I even brought a ladder around and tried it. To no avail, I was locked out.

This same sort of thing happened right when we moved to Boise. I had gone on a run, locked the door on the inside, and took a new key copy with me that I had just made at Home Depot. When I got back I realized my new key didn’t work. That time I was at least stranded with my phone and shoes, and Brandon rescued me quickly after. This time I had my garage, all of its contents, and a car. No keys but a car. I am thinking it must be some sort of new house initiation process you must go through. Anyhow, I found some paper and a pen in the car and recorded my thoughts, because I am an English teacher by trade, and you can’t help but record these types of experiences. And also because when you have over two hours in a garage you have a lot of thoughts. Here you go:

1. The lady up the street must think that a total hippie has moved in. Lady I promise I do typically wear shoes, and I don’t always wear tie-dye. And there is usually not this much dirt under my nails I’ve just been busy planting a garden on my patio. (Maybe that doesn’t help my hippie case.) But, can I use your phone? My carrier pigeon is out delivering a message and hasn’t returned…

2.  Maybe I should pull down my clarinet and play a sprightly tune for our new neighbors. What better way to announce to the neighborhood that we’re new and that the fun has truly arrived? Besides, I’ve heard that clarinet jigs are all the rage these days.

3. Good thing my yarn tote has made it to Denver. Maybe I should crochet the nice lady up the street a beanie for her baby. I am sure that would solidify any previous impression she’s had of me thus far.

4. Is there actually someone in my house that turned the lock? I’ve never encountered a phantom door handle before. If so, I hope he/she unpacks the office. It’s an utter disaster.

5. Bladder control yourself.

6. Why did I leave my Harry Potter book playing? Faintly hearing Jim Dale's voice could possibly be the worst bit of this all. Jim, can’t you just speak up?

7. How long has this Twix bar been in here? It doesn’t taste right...

8. I hope Brandon enjoys the message I left on his voicemail, “Hello. Well, I am locked out. Don’t worry about calling back. But maybe it would be nice if you got off a touch early today. Okay, well I’ll be in the garage.”

And you can tell that I obviously got back in. Along with it I got this great story. But, now I feel like this really is home since I was able to survive the locked out initiation process. At least it’s not like find a big rat in your house initiation process. I consider myself pretty darn lucky :)

Have a fantastic Friday!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A big ol' Boise goodbye.

The last time I wrote something on here it was an ode to teachers and their dedication to the cause of choosing to make a difference in the lives of millions. I had just entered into my first year of teaching with gusto. Now, there are three days left. Seriously three day.

Just three days with the kiddos that have utterly consumed my life. When people ask me how I feel about the ordeal I am quick to say that I am pretty ecstatic that this school year has come to an end. I cannot wait to have a day, a weekend, even a few hours where I am not constantly worrying about school and about these young people. But I know in a few weeks I will sure be missing them, and I don’t think I will ever see them again. Which makes me sad.

And why won’t I ever see them again? Well, we are moving. We are closing the chapter of our time here in Boise. We have absolutely adored this town. Above everything we have adored the people we’ve met and the friendships we made. We feel so lucky to have known such incredible people here. We hope that those people feel so inclined to visit us in our new town, especially because we know virtually no one. (Just a public plea that our door is always open).

We are trekking over to Denver, Colorado; in fact Brandon is already there. It’s a somewhat bittersweet experience. On one hand we are pretty thrilled to be out of the college life. It was something to see Brandon walk across the stage as he received his Masters degree in Business Administration. He looked all official and just dang cute. Plus, he worked so incredibly hard.

But on the other hand we are really going to miss this place. Just yesterday I went on one of our favorite little hikes, and I left feeling pretty sad. That could be the last time I do it. In fact, whenever I do something I think, “This will probably be the last time I do this in Boise.” It’s quite a depressing thought, and I should probably stop.
These lasts are even making me see weeds in a different light. Never before have I taken so many weed pictures and thought, "Now, that is a breathtaking weed. I must capture it's breathtaking-ness." 
Even now I just finished my dinner picnic style, spreading everything out on my living room floor using a green camp blanket, since all of our stuff is already packed up. I ate foods that I know Brandon would not consider a dinner, but wishing the whole time he was here with me. I even would have thrown in some meat if it meant he could be here instead of there.
Extra points if you can guess what movie I am watching while enjoying this non-Brandon approved dinner.
I think this is all a part of growing up, which I knew would happen someday. We can’t always live in never ever land. And I don't mean to sound so morose, but I've just loved our life here, and I am a little afraid of change. Mostly afraid that things won't live up to these expectations I have. 

But, I am also all about grand adventures, and I think this one might be our grandest yet. Wish us luck with this new chapter, or season (I think season doesn’t sound so dramatic), of our lives. Oh and expect to be hearing from me much more, since I will have a touch more time on my hands ;)