Monday, November 16, 2015

Old School.

This crazy kid turned 8.

Just letting that sink in. My youngest son is 8 years old. . sniffle. . .

I can't get over this picture. He was like, what? 4? It tugs at my heart strings.

And here he is at the actual age of 8, in all his crazy browed glory. I had to say it before someone else did.  Always wanted him to be Jareth from Labyrinth for Halloween, but he won't have it. You're half way there, buddy! Be the Goblin King!


I think crazy brows are better than angry brows. Crazy is interesting, but angry is just angry. Well, I suppose that could be interesting, too.


So all this little kid wanted was a desk. No idea why; but he's begged for one for almost two years now, and I figured this birthday was as good as any.

And I was all geared up to build him an old school type desk. Had the Daddy-o on it to draw me up some simple desk plans, because I don't do math.  Well. . . if I can help it.

And then instead of just drawing me up some plans, the Daddy-o was awesome enough to just build one for my little dude.

And he made this totally awesome creation. We have to talk about this bad boy-- because I think you should make one for your crazy browed son, too. You wish you had a ceramic milk carton like I do, huh. I know. You're jealous.

It opens up for some fan freakin tastic storage. And the beauty of this desk? Super cheap, and ultra light weight. I mean, it's amazing how easy it is to move around. My kids can pick it up and hoist it over their heads for crying out loud.

And I got to thinkin'-- I was all, "self, what if someone else wants to build this fabulous cheap ultra light desk?"

Well looky what we have here. The Daddy-o's pictures as he worked, and his plans, complete with a parts list that he was kind enough to scan in for moi. And for you, too. He says you're welcome.

Now, I totes recognize that these plans don't hold your hand. But if you've followed even a couple other plans to build a little something something this shouldn't be too much of a step up. Totally doable, peeps. You know how to get the job done. Fist pound.

Can you see what's going on all up in here? You're cutting the angled pieces to give it that neat-o 1950's school desk look,

with a simple butt joint to the back piece. Heh. I said butt.

Lotsa wood glue. Lotsa clamping.

Take a look-see -- Johnny- the-8-year-old-crazy-browed-one loved his desk so much that my other kids were kinda jealous. And thus the school desk conveyer belt began.

Poor grandpa.

See how he used piano hinges for the lid? He actually bought the long ones and cut them in half.

This picture shows the top pencil holder that's so nifty. He used a router to do that. And that's all I have to say about that because I'm not really quite sure how he did it either.

A quick coat of shellac,

And all my spoiled little butt munches got their own desk (the original one being already upstairs in it's designated spot).

With an adorable little note inside and out for each child. Awe. That Daddy-o. Everyone needs one.

So we love them! You could paint it, you could stain it, but we're going au naturel. It's who we are.  Wood purists of a sort. Make one. Or more. Your kids'll love you for it.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

I Don't Know Why I Go Anywhere With You People.

My sister in law says to me,

"I thought you swore you wouldn't take your kids anywhere again for a long time?"

Oh, right. I did say that. What the heck is wrong with me? 

So, check it.

We just finished an upstate New York trip. And it was wonderful.

Wonderfully amazing that my children weren't grounded for a month when we got home.

Actually, it really was wonderful, despite my children.

They were really really good in a lot of ways. Nothing to complain about with their behavior on an airplane or in the car. Great behavior at restaurants-- 

but plenty to complain about whilst sightseeing. I like to think of it as sightseeing with a bunch of poo flinging monkeys who keep egging each other on. Poking each other and pulling hair and picking each other's noses.

And on a side note, for the love, don't go to Niagara without your passports-- the American side leaves so much to be desired and the Canadians were partying like it was 1999 and it was like we had our faces pressed against the glass watching the party from the outside. So sad.


I can't believe that this was all in 2015; in my head 2015 has been over several years but at the same time it's November but the year is compressed into a month-- (how in the world is it November already?)

but my kids are spoiled, dang it. And I have no one to blame but me.

 They've done San Fran.

And everything the area has to offer. (Many thanks to my bro-chacho and his sweet wife for allowing us to tag along.)

They went on a cruise. Again. (Many thanks to our traveling companions, my sweet sister in law and bro in law for still talking to us afterward.)

Side note, you should hear my thoughts on those of us who are sitting poolside in a shirt and shorts trying to cover up our imperfections whilst the other adults are letting it allll hang out, leaving nothing to the imagination all around us, and the irony of it all.

But some other time.

 And then there was the chance to see Charleston and the Carolinas a bit, and of course several trips around the great state of Utah blah blah blah yak yak yak etcetera.

We went places, mkay. We did a lot of stuff this year.

And in my parental head, I was telling myself that it makes memories, right? 

My kids will appreciate this all.  Later. Perhaps much, much later.


Or at the very least, I'm training my children to be good travelers. Appreciative sightseers, if you will.

Because right now, I'm scratching my head wondering why I emptied my hubby's skymiles and used his hotel points and spent tons of money eating out and gained five pounds and tortured myself with an entire day's worth of packing for 6,  and then the hades of all that laundry when we got back.

Only to have my kids poo fling and wet willy and whine and pout in public places for the whole world to see.  'Cause we can stay home. It's much simpler to stay put 'n stuff.

So, it's character building, right? Sigh.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

How Many Mandis Does It Take To Finish A Table?

I'm feeling mixed emotions of both shame and pride that it took me so long to finish my Restoration Hardware Knockoff Corbel Table. 

On one hand (go ahead and picture me weighing these up and down in my hands kay), I'm happy I took a chill pill and let this project just go with the flow, and then my get-it-done personality is just dying inside that it took me so long. 

I'm a complex person. 


I've already said that I have been obsessed with this table for years. I know.  But it speaketh to my soul. It just does. Actually anything sold at Restoration Hardware speaks to me, just not my bank account.  And when I saw this Corbel desk knock off, 

Well, let's just say it took me three years to man up and decide I could take on the jigsaw and get this done. 

Side note! If you're really digging these corbels too, know that the link up there will take you to his design that you can print out (5 pages total) and use to get exactly what he's got going on up there. What a nice guy.

Nobody gives a doodoo,

but I used his design too, with the exception of the very top of the corbel; I modified mine to have the flat top routed piece like Restoration's, so my glass could sit flat on top. 

That was like listening to the Charlie Brown principal over the speaker, huh? Sorry.

Wanna talk about price? I like talking about money. So I used 2 2x12's at 12 feet long, and those bad boys are a little over $20 a piece. $45 ish for the legs-- not too bad, right? Let us consider that buying the actual table would cost me $1200 ish. 

And these legs are crazy heavy. 

I anchored them into my wall, believe me. Can't have anyone dying when a corbel falls over. 

In hindsight, I'd have used a darker, less warm stain. This pine really took my oft used Dark Walnut very warmly. I'm okay with it, but would have slightly preferred something a titch darker/colder. 

Good thing I'm so satisfied with mediocrity 'cause this crap could keep me up nights. 

I ordered a glass top (for, cough, $40, cough

and after very serious debates on where this desk/table should go (definitely almost my LAST choice), it's ending up in my living room. Don't talk about the aquarium next door! Arrrrggg I'm going to kill some fish soon. I used to love that thing but it's the red headed step child of this space. 

So I love this desk! I'm still trying to get over where it's actually located (don't get me started) but I love this desk!

I too think something should go above it. Working on it as we speak.

And did you see I finally picked up a horse head? All is right in the world.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Follow Up.

I've said I'd do this for over a year, and today I'm sucking it up and getting it done.

But first,

can you believe it's been over 2 years that I've been taking violin lessons? Me neither.

Our lives are just a flash in the pan. Life unravels at top speeds. If you want to destroy this sweater, hold this thread while I walk away.

And so forth.


I said for over a year I'd throw a video of my, (cough) progress on here. It's a 30 second snippet, so don't get all excited or anything.

My violin teacher was kind enough to play a duet with me. I kind of idolize her, just a little. She knows it but she's too classy to show it. I looked up the female equivalent of "bromance", and it suggests either "womance" or "homance". I ain't no ho, so I'm going with the former.

We should talk about her music room because my stars, I love the board and batten with the dark walls.

I own that my bowing is backward. And intonation, or any screw ups, again all me. But what's important here is that I haven't quit! I have zero intentions of doing so! I'm still liking it! And for how much time I put into it I should be amazing but apparently there is not a shred of innate talent for this inside me.

But such is life. I hesitantly embrace my mediocrity.

So, about that other thing we talked about. . .

you know.  Plastic surgery. Milllions of people have asked me what I decided about that (cough. 2 people.), and I thought I'd follow up on that too. Absolutely zero linkage to the last plastic surgery confession. I have my pride. So to the point:

I honestly don't see it happening.

Here's why:

$4,000. Trading lots of scars for other scars. Hubby swears he doesn't care. And since I'm not one, to, you know, like, mow the lawn in a bikini, I think it's only really his opinion that matters. Let's just gather up that extra skin and pretend like it never happened.

But mainly, I don't think I can handle the down time. If you're a close buddy, you know what a complete and utter baby I am when I just get like, a cold. I cannot deal with not being fully functional. I cry when I'm sick, people. For realsies. Weeks of laying down while the house fell down around me would send me crying over the edge.

Also, $4,000. I can think of a lot of ways to spend that kind of cash. (helloooo new hardwood floors. . .)

And last but certainly the least cared about:

I still actually do run. It's been three years since I announced my intention to hit the pavement, and I still . . . "like" it.

As much as one can "like" their daily exercise routine. Also, these shoes are sooo long gone.

I talked to a friend the other day and she blurted out that she will never ever run because it's too trendy. I laughed my bum off, I tell ya. Even the most avid runner has to admit that it's true.

And I was okay for the last 2 and a half years with my short, slooooow jog around the town. I'm shocking myself when I say that I'm kind of sort of contemplating training for just a half next year. That I will only try ONCE and NEVERMORE. I've upped my distance the last little bit and felt, dare I say it? A little bit surprised and proud of myself.

But we'll see. Don't hold me to it. I'm satisfied doing what I'm doing right now. Like I said: mediocrity.