Luck of the Baseball

Sometimes when you’re shopping, nothing really jumps out at you. Other times, pretty much everything does, so much so that you need to call on a friend with a trucking company to come and help you haul it home. Today, I was in a rather frustrating store that was not only overcrowded with people — the aisles have never been wide enough for two carts passing in the night — but the shelves were so full that merchandise was falling off. At one point, while I was looking through stuff, my actions caused a whole avalanche to fall on the head of a stray 4-year-old who happened to be standing nearby. Fortunately, it was yarn, so no damage to either the child or the goods.

So there I was, making the decision on whether to fight my way through the next aisle or give it all up when THIS beckoned.

I grabbed it and went straight to the checkout. It was meant to be. And I was meant to leave with my loot.

Shopping is the thirstiest affair ever. I mean what is it about strolling the confines of any place of commerce that makes me stagger to the nearest bubbler and start slurping. Even when I think ahead and carry water, I drink the whole thing and STILL need a beer when I’m finished shopping. (Sometimes not even when I’m finished. If they served cold brew at Goodwill, I’d be first in line.)

I’ve become accustomed to being the only single 60-something woman in any tavern at half-past afternoon, so was surprised today when I marched into a new establishment and the only person at the bar was an around-my-age woman imbibing in a cold one. Being my subtle self, I asked if she was sitting at a bar in the middle of the afternoon ALONE!!?? to which she promptly replied that indeed she was. Also, she had rainbow colored hair. I am encouraged.

Cables!

For a long time I’ve wanted to try my hand at knitting cables again. I finally found a YouTube video with instructions and here’s the result.

I made it an envelope so I can remove the cover to wash it, although I have no idea whether it’s washable or not, as I found the yarn in my stash with no label. Actually, I had made an infinity scarf from it when I first got back into knitting a couple of years ago. It was definitely infinite. When I put it on, it reached my feet. When I wrapped it around my neck a few times, my head was buried to the crown. Guess that’s why they say “check your gauge” all the time. Anyway, I de-raveled the scarf and made a pillow.

Toybox re-do of a re-do

So when the boys were little I had the worst time finding a toybox. In our Eau Claire house, it wasn’t much of a problem because I just started throwing everything into a big bottom drawer in the dining area. That worked out great. But when we moved to Trego, it became a Mission to find something that would contain Legos and GI Joe guys if for no other reason than that our feet were complaining of nocturnal ouches.

I finally found the ugliest box in the world, but it had potential. I did a cursory search for a picture from when I bought it — which I know I have — but can’t find it now. A simple pine box with a hinged lid. I removed the covering, upholstered the top with brown corduroy and that box served us well for storing toys and other items until last week.

That would be about 30 years. Yikes. It’s living in my bedroom now and wasn’t exactly fitting in with the decor.

So I painted it and reupholstered the top in a lighter color.

Paper Tale

I wasn’t a bit worried when my friend, Jane and I discussed stripping the wallpaper from her living room walls. Until she mentioned it had been there for nigh on 40 years. Jeepers. Who knows what types of glue they were using 40 years ago. Plus, the house (gorgeous!) is over 100 years old and we KNOW they weren’t drywalling back then. So it was with great trepidation that I climbed climbed the ladder to see if the paper and wall were married till death do they part. HA! Apparently they were ready to divorce.

The bottom paper must have been ready for same a few years back, as it practically jumped off the walls. Jane’s husband, Mark sort of grabbed one corner and, as I recall, marched off around the room with large strips of it in hand.

Jane and her trusty Conair steamer. As an side benefit, we figure the steam removed a few of our facial wrinkles. OK. Maybe not. But the moisture felt good in dead center of a Wisconsin winter.
There are few things as satisfying as slowly pealing wallpaper away from the wall.

We had this other steamer, but it has a trigger, that forces you to use both hands. It works fine, but you can’t use the scraper and steamer at the same time, so a little less efficient.

Contrary to rumors, Mark did not stand around drinking coffee all day. He helped. A lot. Abby the dog however, did not. Her excuse: she doesn’t have opposable thumbs

The whole project took two days. Weeeelllll. We’re not exactly teenagers, so our “days” aren’t 12 hours long. So, two sixty-something days.

Next: painting. But I think Jane and Mark are going to leave that to a professional.

Unhinged

I hate losing things. It’s such a waste of time looking everywhere. But when you DO find it, it’s like pulling a rock out of your shoe. So, here’s the piano bench. I got it from my mother-in-law, Eva, many, many years ago. Another one of those items that moved around with me and even had one (or more) feet in the car on its way to the donation center, but something always stopped me. I did the upholstery when I first got it.

So, when my neighbors and I remodelated the hallway of our apartment building just before Christmas, I was looking for something to set in the corner. Something that had soft parts, because the hall became very echo-y after we removed the carpet. So I. . .

repainted the bench, reupholstered the seat and added a pillow. Like anyone’s ever going to sit around on the landing in the stairway, but it does help soften the noise.

BUT, when I went to put the top back on, I’d lost one of the hinges. I looked everywhere. Under everything. In pockets, purses, couch dregs, but nothing. Then, this morning I ran out to the car (which was quite an undertaking since wind chills are 55 below) and didn’t stop to take the annoying bump out of my shoe. When I got back. . .

Voila! The wayward hinge.