And the road goes on forever...

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Time Flies

As they like to say when you’re having fun. Of course, my idea of fun may not be what most people think of since many of the tasks revolve around yard work and interior improvements. It always seems when I return that there is a boatload of things on my to-do list, so I immediately dove in knowing time's short. We’ve enjoyed wonderful weather for the most part which has quickly spurred Spring into action. I had our first mowing yesterday just before today’s rain. The lawn should like that. When it initially wakes after winter, its like a verdant, lush green carpet and the smell after mowing it was heavenly. Makes one feel as though they are part of the very earth and is an endorphin of such magnitude!

Things are on target with the sunroom’s windows now ordered to hopefully begin construction of that in a few weeks. The windows are the major cost driver in this project, coming in at over $4000! In anticipation, I had researched myself silly about what to do for furnishings when I had an epiphany . Our big reclining, rustic couch in the living room hardly ever sees any use; why not just place it in the sunroom? I know it already blends in with other pieces I have on hand that I plan to use. Since we rarely have company that uses any seating, that freed me up to purchase a couple of accent chairs for the living room. I saw these beauties and just had to have them. Once they can be placed it should spatially open the great room in a beneficial way.
I’ve been working hit and miss on getting a small garden going. There are still some more seeds to plant when the rain abates. After the snow went away and it warmed enough for the hoses to work I was able to finally get the rigs cleaned and washed. Then I started tackling one of the most important projects of the summer, refinishing our bedroom set. We had ordered it online and although I usually like the natural knotty pine look, this set arrived as stained orange. It has only aged badly in the past few years and was positively looking like a ghastly pumpkin.

I was going for a stained top with the rest painted distressed blue. The first stain just didn’t cover adequately so after two coats of that I tried another color. That after two coats gave me a much darker color than I was really after but the thought of doing another complete sanding job had me figuring it wasn’t so bad as it was. Concurrently, I was also working on sanding and staining the trim on the bed.
The paint went on beautifully and is a great color which doesn’t translate well to camera. It looks fabulous against the gray walls though. Once two coats of that were completed it got a topcoat of Polyacrylic and then came the fun part: using dark wax to distress and highlight. There is nothing like adding something that stains your brand new fresh paint job to get your adrenaline flowing. Replacing the hardware would have been expensive since there were 21 of them, so I opted instead to work with what I had by painting the wood portion hammered brown to match the stain and left the silver inserts. As it turned out, it’s one of my favorite things about the entire redo as I feel it really sets off the dresser now.
Coming up I plan more. In the living room housing our stereo equipment (yes, we still have receivers, amplifiers and LPs) I have an old knotty pine armoire which is shiny and badly scratched; a relic from the early ‘90’s which is in desperate need of a redo, and we also brought back my childhood cedar hope chest. This needs to have the legs and some wood damage repaired, then it too, will be ready. It is solid pecan wood, so I need to get it stripped down to bare wood to see if it merits stain or paint. When’s the last time you saw a piece of pecan used in furniture? Nowadays, consumers think rubber and mango wood are “real” hardwoods since they are almost being exclusively used in furniture due to cost. That’s the primary reason I try and buy vintage or antique—if its lasted 100 years it will likely continue to last during my ownership.
Another thing I worked on was a total replanning of where we will head during daughter’s visit in August. Lake Superior is just too far for the short amount of time she has so we’ve decided upon the Wisconsin Dells area. Not for the tourist trap town, but for all the natural features and hiking and boating in the area. Wisconsin state parks are always very crowded and we will be visiting the state’s most popular, Devil’s Lake. I managed to snag an electrical site at nearby Rocky Arbor SP, one of the last available. More about that coming up.