Posted on | December 19, 2015 | No Comments
It started with Netflix. Which my parents got us for my mother’s birthday. Yeah, you read that right. We got it from my dad for my mom’s birthday because he was getting it for her and she wanted us to have it, too. The Other Half never says to my face that he thinks I am spoiled but he eye rolls it a lot. Anyway, with the arrival of Netflix my former beach room was co-opted for watching television. Generally, it was only used for playing Wii (when the kids weren’t on Wii restriction) or knitting or reading quietly. But now we were all wanting to sit there with our feet up, with snacks and drinks and pillows and blankets, for hours of television shows that the rest of you saw about 12 years ago.
I had to move the plant boxes that I kept on the rail behind the sofa in the beach room. They used to hold air plants but the kids killed those years ago by constantly knocking the boxes down the stairs while playing ball in the house. Also, with each fall, the handles cracked off the boxes until they were nothing but dilapidated rectangles that I left on the rail out of sheer, worthless defiance. But even I realized they couldn’t stand up to all of us on the couch, readjusting pillows and blankets, and otherwise jostling about. So I filled them with offshoots of Uncle Rodney’s prolific aloe plant and moved them to the top of the stairs on the DVD/video cabinet. Where the plants are quite pleased with the filtered light from the window and the plant boxes at least stand a chance against indoor hoops.
Then I had to move the old linen trunk that sat in front of the couch because it just wasn’t up for Netflix. First of all, it sagged in the middle so it could not be used as a beverage holder without spilling. Second of all, it was too high for our feet to be put up comfortably. Third, the blankets were inside of it, which meant everything had to be taken off the top to get a cozy little afghan or neck pillow. I pulled out all the blankets and pillows, washed off the dog fur, and stacked them in the upstairs linen closet for easier access. Then I put the trunk downstairs into the junk room office.
Where I hope it will be used for holding the ammunition cases that I am always tripping over. Ladies, if you’ve never ruined a good pedicure by stubbing your toe on a metal ammunition box crammed full of bullets, left in the middle of the room, on your way to get a piece of tape from the office desk then you married well. Congratulations.
The next morning, with the trunk gone, while sipping my coffee and waiting to get the kids up for school, I considered new options for an ottoman/coffee table in the beach room. Of course, I hit Pinterest, the perfect coffee companion, but I wasn’t buying into any of the easy! simple! cheap! stuff they were promoting. All of it looked expensive and time consuming. I almost got sucked into a project using milk crates and sisal rope but milk crates were only 10″ high and I wanted something taller. Besides I have a variety of nearby thrift stores and they are always worth checking. With one project on my to do list I decided I would also knock out a few others. I needed to move the kids’ ball collection into the mud room and wanted to add an under-the-counter trash can to the chopping block table. I also needed to test a recipe for a party coming up that weekend and needed some ingredients from the grocery store while I was out. So I made a list, gathered my stuff, and then started getting the kids ready for school.
I had 2 kids on the bus and gone when Big came down and announced he was sick. Of course. Because kids are always sick when you’ve planned a day of getting stuff done. I gave him ibuprofen for his headache and told him he should take a shower because that would probably make him feel better. That didn’t work. He still felt nauseous when he got out. I made him go online to show me he didn’t have any tests that day (he didn’t) and I conferred with Pretty who stated he had been feeling sick the night before when I was at work (reliable info. probably. maybe.). With my due diligence completed, I sent him off to bed, told him I’d wake him up at lunch time and take him in to school if he felt better by then. I made sure that he was asleep without vomiting, and then I drove Pretty to school (she missed the bus), dropped off Middle’s lunch at middle school (because he forgot it on the counter), and went to the gym feeling like my entire day was derailed.
Luckily, I am optimistic person because when I left the gym I hit the Goodwill that was just down the street. Because maybe, just maybe, I might find the perfect ottoman and get at least some of my plans accomplished. As an incredible reward from the universe for abandoning my sick child at home in exchange for 45 minutes of cardio, that Goodwill had the perfect table. For $8! I mean, it had a broken leg but it was totally fixable. It was solid wood (not pressboard!!!) and matched the beach room decor without any need for paint or stain. I grabbed it and headed home where I found Big still asleep and not laying in a pile of his own vomit! Bonus! Jesus loves me!
I did the barn chores, cleaned the house a bit, and then carried my new table up in front of the Netflix. It was still too high for for resting comfortably so I hit Pinterest again. I had formulated all sorts of crazy ideas for putting the table on casters and then making slide out ottomans so we could easily switch between the two when, thank goodness, my common sense kicked in. All I needed to do was make the table lower and that could easily be accomplished by cutting the legs off a bit! Which is the sort of thing you can do when The Other Half isn’t at home going, “What the heck are you doing?! Why are you cutting the legs on that table???” Problem solved. I was about to hit the shed for power tools when Big woke up. He came downstairs and I suggested he try his lunch (which I had already packed that morning) so he could go back to school. But he only managed a few bites of his sandwich before he felt sick to his stomach. So I ate his fruit, chips, and cookie (not his germy half-sandwich! ugh!) for him and asked him if he felt up to going to the store with me to help me find the right products for my projects.
Then I made him drive us because he needs to get more hours on his permit so he can test for his license. And everyone should practice driving while feeling nauseous. You might need that skill to get to work one day with a hangover. Not that I’ve ever gone to work hungover. But I saw it in a movie once. Anyway, we got our supplies and came home. I gave him another ibuprofen because I didn’t want his headache to come back and prevent him from helping me. He got out the jigsaw, some kind of funky square, measured the table legs, and cut them down 4″ so the table was the perfect height. He also used a steel plate to attach the broken leg back together. Voila! Perfect $8 table. Please note it already came with a drink stain on it so now we can all put our drinks on it without coasters without feeling bad. Awesome! It also has a second shelf underneath to put the various remote controls out of sight. I’m the only one that ever puts them on the shelf but, whatever.
Now it was on to the ball collection. Years ago I constructed a thingy to corral all the kids’ balls. I kept it in the junk room office and like every other organization project, I was the only one that used it. I constantly gathered basketballs and soccer balls and footballs from the counter tops and kitchen benches and window seats and floors and put them in the thingy. While ranting like a lunatic the entire time.
I also kept a large basket under the chopping block table in the kitchen where the kids could toss loose balls. The space wasn’t good for much else and I figured the more options the kids had, the more likely they were to put the balls away after they used them. Hah! The majority of the time the kids left balls on the mudroom bench where they were supposed to sit and take off their shoes when they came in the house (also a pipe dream). Whenever you walked past the bench or pulled a coat or purse off the coat hooks or the dogs went in and out the mudroom door, the balls rolled off and around the floor. So they had to be picked up again and again and again throughout the day. Since even my worthless defiance had limits I decided to let them have that space for their balls. But I would make a thingy underneath the bench to contain them so that they wouldn’t roll around and there was still a place to sit and take off your shoes (which will never happen).
Big pried the bungee cords off the old thingy to use them on the new thingy and then helped me secure the legs of the bench to the floor more securely to support the tensile strength. Then we carried all the balls out of the junk room office and kitchen and put them in the new thingy. Love it!
Now the balls are right next to the door where the kids want to leave them, they are out of the way, and my spinning wheel got the old thingy’s spot in the junk room office. Where I can look at it every time I need to go into the junk room office for a piece of tape and wonder if I will die of old age before I ever get the time to use it.
With the piddly projects done, and all the balls out from under the chopping block table, it was time for the big project. We kept the trash can right off the kitchen because we never had room for it in the kitchen and I didn’t really want to look at trash while I was cooking. I dreamed of the cabinet trash cans that everyone else in America has but new cabinets are not happening here. But the base of the chopping block was the perfect empty space for the trash can now.
I love this chopping block table because my dad made it years ago, and everywhere we moved, we took it with us. It has wheels so it can be rolled out of the way or moved closer to the counters and it’s the perfect size for preparing food and cooking with the kids. With a few tweaks and ideas off Pinterest I figured I could convert it to an under-the-counter trash holder with some extra storage, too. Big measured and we went to Lowe’s to buy the wood and have them cut it to size (suckers!). While we were in the parking lot, Big’s boss called to say another kid had called out sick and asked if Big could come work the grill when he got out of school. I told Big that if he was too sick to go to school then he was too sick to go to work, especially handling food. Then I made him drive home and start putting together my cabinet idea. Because that’s the kind of responsible parent that I am.
He did an amazing job. I painted but he attached everything with hinges and screws and paracord to let the doors hold open halfway or be opened entirely if needed. Just so you know, no one peed on the floor under the butcher block. I moved the dogs’ water dish to get a fancier picture and it spilled everywhere. Then I was to lazy to wipe it up before taking the picture. Because apparently I just don’t do fancy.
There’s a trash can on the sink side so anyone prepping or working on the kitchen counters has access to trash. There’s also a shelf that holds the Lysol wipes, spare Walmart bags, and paper lunch bags.
The other side also has a trash can that can be reached from there for anyone prepping food on the chopping block or anyone at the kitchen table or passing through the kitchen. The shelf on that side holds the trash bags. Please note that I was telling the truth about the dog water. Because you can see it in this fancy photo. Keepin’ it real.
Big was unhappy with the side curtains that I sewed. He wanted to attach wooden sides like cabinet doors. But I didn’t want to buy the extra plywood or paint when I could sew curtains and hang them real quick. Also I figured curtains make accessing the interior easy and quick if it ever needed to be cleaned out or wiped down. The kids and The Other Half hate it when I hang curtains instead of cabinet doors. 5 years ago the doors broke off the kitchen cabinets and I hung curtains to cover the snack cabinet and the tupperware cabinet to replace them.
For 5 years there has been griping and complaining and whining about how the curtains make it hard to get in the cabinets (wha?) and how they fall down when you’re reaching in (yeah, sometimes) and the curtain rod hurts like heck if it protrudes past the counter and you slam into it with your leg as you walk by (true!). As a matter of fact there has been so much gripping and complaining and whining about those 2 curtains that if that time was spent making and attaching new cabinet doors we could probably have new cabinet doors in the entire kitchen. Funny how mouths run a lot faster than hands.
I suppose I could try and make the kitchen cabinet doors myself. But Big went back to school and work the next day. And who knows when he’ll have another sick day when I can put him to work around here. Which only sounds irresponsible. In reality, I am raising a new breed of male that is immune to Man Flu. A male that when he feels heachachy and nauseous says, “Honey, there’s no way I can make it to work today. My head is killing me and I’m probably contagious. I’ll just stay home and fix some things in between throwing up.” You’re welcome, future daughter-in-law.
Besides the beach room table is now perfect for putting up my feet and holding my cup of tea. And there’s 9 seasons of The Office on Netflix to watch. 9 seasons, people. See you next year. Probably. Maybe. If the Netflix is down.