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Posts Tagged ‘Bench’

“I really do think my hubby is brave. In a world where men still seem to feel the need to control much of life around them, my hubby is confident in who he is … confident enough that he lets me also be who I am, and for that I am immensely thankful.”

I wrote the above this past summer in a post called Brave Husband where I wanted to give credit to my hubby for allowing, and accepting my creative side in our home and garden. And this post is the second and final post about the closet reno. that is (finally) complete.

It began with a vision in my head, and an itching in my soul to tear down, and build up. I ripped everything out of the closet, and put on my construction hat.

I had a plan, measured, cut, changed the plan, sweated, built, changed the plan yet again … I am a natural at adapting and modifying!

After the frame was built, the bench and lower shelves installed, much of what was left was the beautifying. And it doesn’t take much time in the beautifying to discover that it is there that things can get costly.

For example, I wanted to install a shelf, above the coat hook area (to place my very cool -cheap- older suitcases, for storage). I was thinking that rustic, wooden corbels would do the trick (much like the ones to the right). Well, apparently the law of supply and demand would indicate that there is great demand for them (try broken ones for $100 each!!!) thus, I needed a new plan.

So, off to the orange home store, where I scored four cast iron looking plant hooks, which cost less than $4 each. Then to the dollar store where I found real cast iron hooks for just $2 each (and since I had two from another project, I only had to purchase four).

My goal for this project was to not spend more than $100 from beginning to end, utilizing as many materials as I could from around our home, and purchased from thrift stores and yard sales. I was sure that I might just blow the budget completely when I started to seek out estimates for foam for the bench. The price range was $56 and up! After I picked my weakened self off the floor, I started considering other ways to get foam. My final purchase was a foam mattress topper, which I cut myself, and it cost $15.

The fabric for the pad was a bit of a concern too, but I said my prayers before walking into a thrift store one day, and low and behold, there was a roll of fabric for $10, that I really loved, and was only $10.

I was able to use moldings that I had laying around from previous projects, as well as paint, and many nails, screws, caulking (a little DAP will cover a multitude of sins poor cuts), and decor.

The following are the things I had to purchase:

$27.24 for drill bits and plywood
$48.29 for bead board and nails
$7.00 for the ‘TV cabinet’ that became my lower shelves
$10.55 for paint for trim (my old can had not been closed tightly 😦
$15.98 for the brackets to hold up the top shelf
$9.00 for hooks
$9.99 for the fabric
$15.49 for the foam
$7.oo for the two suitcases
$12.49 for the extra moldings

So, I was over my $100 budget, but still it was not a terrible cost, with the grand total coming in at $163.03, and NONE of that cost was labor, because I did it all myself (with a little help from my guy when I would get a screw stuck … I think we need a new, cordless, drill).

This project, with all it’s challenges, dust, mess, sweat and head scratching really fed my creative being. I felt refreshed for having the opportunity to demolish, plan, build and create.

Through the process hubby encouraged me, assisted with the challenges I have as the physically ‘weaker’ sex, and told me it looks so much better when it was all done. He knows that I tend to get a bit OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) when it comes to my creative projects, resulting in him BBQ’ing more meals than normal, driving kids more often than normal, and more mess around the house. Yet, he continues to encourage me to be … me.

I think I will keep him!

(… because I have a bigger project planned for next summer 😉 )

 

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Well, I am finally doing a follow-up post about my Brave Husband that I started way back in July. As I stated in that post “what makes my hubby brave is his willingness to let me ‘experiment’ with our house and garden.”

My patient man came home one day, early in the summer to find that I had removed everything in our hallway closet except for the drywall. His only response was, “I am guessing you have decided on your first (summer) project.”

I had set to work just that morning, after spending many weeks considering what I might do to create a door-less, closet storage area with a cozy place to sit and read, write or simply escape from one of our, now only three, teenagers in the house. I had filled a bucket with tools that I might need was wearing the grubbiest of my grubby clothes, and was thrilled to be taking something apart, with the visions of how it could look when I was finished.

Once it was naked of all that it had previously contained, from shelving to carpet, and everything in between, I set to work on the part that made me sweat the most … constructing a wood frame for the bench. I had never built a frame before, and this one would need to be secure enough to hold … me! I was very nervous, and the previous visions of the finished project were replaced by day/night mare of someone (me) sitting down and having the entire bench come crashing to the floor. I had the outer supports screwed into the studs of the walls, then added cross pieces every 8-10 inches (I cannot remember exactly). Thankfully I had 2X4’s in my garage, so I only had to purchase the screws!

The frame seemed to hold … even me standing on it!

The next step was to go and purchase plywood … Oh my goodness! Seriously, with the amount of trees in the area of the country that I live, I did not see the rational for having to take out a mortgage to purchase a piece of plywood! Yikes! So, when it came time to cut it, I did not measure twice and cut once, I cut eight times, and measured 2-4 times before each cut. When all was measured and cut, it fit on top like a glove. And the security of it … it was so well constructed that when I sat my happy … behind on it, not a creak, not even a whisper of a noise. Look out Mike Holmes (of Holmes on Homes).

As you can see from the photo directly above and left, there are shelves below the bench. I purchased this ‘TV stand’ at a thrift store, primed it with ‘bonding’ primer, then painted it with semigloss white paint. I was in awe at how perfectly it fit (with a bit of cutting from the back right corner, to fit the shape of the closet). I screwed it to the opening of the closet on both sides, to ensure it would not migrate.

The next step was to purchase bead board (kind of difficult to see in this picture, above to the left and right) … mortgage number two! I had to purchase three sheets of it, but was able to use all but one small piece (about 10″x 14″), so the lack of waste made the price not so depressing.

I will continue my closet reno. story in the near future … I still need to finish one two a few more details before I am ready for the final reveal.

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This is a series about a woman, roses on a park bench, and an amazing set of circumstances that bring her into a new future … one she never could have dreamed, would take her from sorrow to hope.
Each week there will be a new installment.

As I looked back to see what is was that caught my eye, I was intrigued to see it was a bouquet of flowers, laying on an empty park bench.

The bench was seated in front of a small apartment building, but near to the sidewalk. So that if one was out for a walk it could provide a place of rest. Although there was a bus stop just a few feet away, the bench did not have the appearance of a bus stop bench, but one a person might have in their garden.

The bouquet of flowers looked fresh, very fresh. As though they had been just bought that morning, but forgotten on the bench by someone.

I wonder if they were forgotten by someone. Maybe that person laid them on the bench for just a moment while making a call, or helping a young child pick up the toy they dropped. Then, when their bus arrived they forgot to pick them up again.

Or, maybe a woman had been given the flowers while on a date,  last date, with a man whose charm was only on the surface. And maybe he gave her the flowers at the beginning of the date, only to dump her as their time together moved on. And maybe, the beautiful on the surface, but bitter to her heart’s eyes bouquet got thrown to the bench, like her heart to sorrow.

Or, maybe there was a woman waiting for her love to arrive off of the bus, and when he arrived he was overcome by her appearance, and set the bouquet down on the bench. Then he rose to go to her and greet her with a passionate kiss. The flowers forgotten as his eyes and thoughts were only of her.

What was that?

Oh my, horns are honking! I just lost my head in my imaginative world. I am ridiculous!

I looked back at the man in the vehicle behind me. He was angry, volatile really, with his mouth moving, and hands flailing. It was as if my crime of daydreaming which caused him to have to wait a few seconds longer at an intersection, was the worst violation possible.

I moved my vehicle into drive, and looked straight ahead to avoid the glares and raised finger of the man in the truck behind me. He could seriously use a romantic story right now.

As we were directed through the intersection I glanced around, wondering about the stories of the lives of the people who had been involved in the accident. I wondered if they were hurt badly. I wondered what this accident might have kept them from. I wondered if the effects of this seemingly minor accident, might affect the course of their lives.

Then I shook my head.

What was I thinking? My daydreaming had just about caused the heart failure of the man driving behind me. I could not allow my pondering of what looked like a minor fender bender to possibly cause some other horrible fate for another.

The possible stories were endless, though.

One chance meeting, one glance in a certain direction, could result in a tragedy that could change the lives of people forever.

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This is a series about a woman, roses on a park bench, and an amazing set of circumstances that bring her into a new future … one she never could have dreamed, would take her from sorrow to hope.
Each week there will be a new installment.

Finally, I had gotten all of the kids dropped off to school, and I was as free as a bird to spend the entire day as I desired.

I had it all planned. I would go to the coffee shop, order my most favorite, ‘happy’ drink (an Earl Grey Tea Latte). Then I would find a seat by window, and sit reading my novel, for as long as I desired.

I could feel my body relaxing, just from imagining how wonderful it would be!

I didn’t even feel guilty for this ‘unproductive’ me time. It had been months, no, years since I had any time to myself (unless you counted the few times that I would get groceries on my own).

Finally, ten years after having baby number one (also known as Alison), seven years after having baby number two (also known as Michael), and five years after having Suzanna, I was about to have a day to myself.

Today I took Suzanna to school for the first time. While other mothers and their children sniffed and sobbed, Suzanna did her best to convince me that I did not have to walk her into the classroom. I did though, not because I felt she needed me to, or that I needed to do so for myself, but because it seemed like the right thing to do. Really it was because I was worried what the other mothers and the teacher would think if I my little girl were to walk herself into class on the first day of kindergarten.

Ah, the old, “what would people think of me” conundrum. I wonder if we ever outgrow that guilt-laden way of thinking. I wonder, at what age do we begin to thing that way? Making our decisions based on what other people would think of us. I am sure it must be a learned way of thinking, and not something that we do innately.

For now, though, there was no guilt, no pressures, no stresses. It was just me and an entire day of freedom. I was almost giddy with anticipation.

Then, out of nowhere, the car ahead of me stopped abruptly. My brain and body went into automatic pilot, and my vehicle screeched to an immediate stop. I was sure I was mere millimeters from the vehicle in front of me, but was so thankful that the sound of crunching metal, that I had anticipated, never was made.

I peered to the left, and the right, and still could see no reason for the abrupt stop. So I rolled my window down, so as to lean out and see ahead of the line of waiting vehicles. It appeared to be an accident, at the intersection. There was a police cruiser, and vehicle parts in the intersection.

I moved my head back into my van, and as I did something to the left caught my eye.

Rose Part 1

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This is a series about a woman, roses on a park bench, and an amazing set of circumstances that bring her into a new future … one she never could have dreamed, would take her from sorrow to hope.
Each week there will be a new installment.

Prelude

Walking to the bench, the bench I had passed so many times, was like that magical experience of walking the flower lined aisle at my wedding, with my eyes filled with contained tears. I was walking deliberately, intentionally, from the past, and into a new future, full of dreams and hopes like a bride, eager to sign the marriage covenant with the one she loves.

As I lay the bouquet on the bench, and the tears spilled onto my cheeks, a sense of beginning and of completion took over. All of the pieces of my life were flashing before me. I could see how interwoven each and every step of my life was.

I felt as though by laying these roses on the bench, I was saying goodbye and hello. I felt as though my action, although small, tied me to the past and to the future at the same time.

My future … it was not long ago that I felt I had no future. It was just days before when death looked more hopeful than life itself. It was just days before when a death brought me back to life. No, not back to life, it was as if I was introduced to life for the first time.

Days ago, I had not dreamed that I would, that I could find such value and satisfaction from such a simple act. Days ago death was all I could see.

There is just no way that anyone could ever have constructed the details of so many things of the past number of years, of my whole life, to bring me to this point. In the most perfect of timing, revelations of my past were placed into my hands, and they allowed me to open the door to my future. It was all such impossibility that these circumstances were laid out in front of my, in a way that would bring me full circle.

The questions that I had stopped asking, but were always with me, were answered. The pieces of my life had come together in the most beautiful bouquet of completion. My life, my whole life, had come together, like seeds and plants of a variety of species, planted together in a garden designed by a master

There is only one way for all of these pieces to come together in the way they had, and that way was so out of my control, and yet in complete control of my entire life, all this time.

I took a deep breath, stood back to look at those roses on the bench, tears flowing steadily.

From somewhere deep inside of me, a song emerged on my tongue;

“I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses …”

Rose Part 2

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