Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Have a seat

I found two chairs at a yard sale. We ended up there because our experience at a local “man sale” was less than satisfying. For weeks a sale that would appeal to the men of Kent Island was advertised on local web sites and on strategically placed signs. I fell for it, and Michael did too.

I had visions of power tools, equipment, gear… all at affordable prices. I talked it up to Michael and we agreed to get up early on Saturday (but not poor-yard-sale-etiquette early) to be among the first to arrive. I think he was just as excited as I was… until we got there.

There was a lot of stuff: most of it rusty or broken; all of it over priced. Now we were caffeinated and driving the streets looking for a deal. Okay, not really.

On our way out of the disappointing man sale neighborhood, we saw a small sign for another yard sale – no fanfare, just the words “Yard Sale” with an arrow. We followed. There wasn’t a lot of stuff, but I found two sturdy chairs that I liked.

New, old chairs
Lately we had been sitting out at the pond to watch the turtles (I realize any illusions of our exciting, wild lives were just shattered by the previous sentence). I was convinced these two chairs could live by the pond so that we didn’t have to move chairs back and forth from the deck to the pond. Clearly, we needed these chairs.

And for $2 for the pair, we didn’t even need to consider the deal or bargain for them. We took them home and set them up by the pond. For a few nights, we sat on them and watched the turtles. They were comfortable and for the price even somewhat disposable, but I thought they could be even better.

I fixed up any loose parts with wood glue, did some minor repairs and painted them yellow. Now they are way too nice to sit down at the pond. They found a new home at either end of our picnic table under the covered deck.

Old, new chairs
So I was on the lookout for new chairs for the pond. I didn’t have to look past our shed. There were three redwood aluminum chairs that we had purchased as part of an auction lot a few years (eight?) ago. These are the same chairs that every family in the 70s had on a patio or deck. They are sturdy and durable if not a little plain. I already had the paint from the last two chairs so I took these apart and painted the wood slats complete with a racing stripe.

Much better. And, we have three more chairs for the deck and/or turtle watching.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Someone’s in the kitchen…

There is a list still a mile long and this is just to get the current kitchen livable. Yes, outlet covers are still missing, the ceiling needs to be patched and painted, and the other side of the kitchen is still missing drywall. Yikes.

Not quite an "after" photo, but close enough.
But, we have curtains, a pretty back splash (and all my fingers!) and paint on the walls. Gone are layers of wallpaper, faux beams, a frighteningly sticky windowsill and any trace of teal (unless you count the blue in the custom* curtains).

And the distraction of planning a new kitchen – one twice as size with a wish list just as big – can be overwhelming. We still expect to use this kitchen for a good number of years and the small efforts have helped. In fact, over the holiday we spent time sitting around the island in the kitchen – the very kitchen I would try to block people out of when we first moved in.

And the before. Almost the same angle.
That’s definitely progress. 

*and by "custom" I mean fabric from Joanne's on discount and eight sides of straight(ish) sewn hems complete with a light blocking material Michael insisted on.