Adventures in Garbage

Monthly archives for September, 2015

Toxic busy-ness

How are we already half way through September!?  The kids started “preschool” and we have been in such a busy state that I don’t even have a decent picture for myself!
We have had some MAJOR work being done on our house.  So major that we are not doing it ourselves. (Except for demo. You can’t keep me out of demo) :) . Anytime “workers” are at our house, it is LITERALLY a non stop battle to keep Alex out of their way.  He wants to be in the middle of all the action all the time.  His biggest tantrum to date was last year when I wouldn’t let him go into our crawl space when a company was out here to insulate. It. is. exhausting. And a true test of my patience. Thankfully the guys we have here are friends and at least pretend pretty well to be tolerant of his non stop questions and constant interruptions.

While the last 2 weeks seem like a crazy busy blur, one thing keeps nagging at me; It’s that “busy state”. The one where for no particular reason you feel “behind” (on a list of things you keep in your mind that no one else sees, which is often filled with tasks and ideas that are of no real importance at the moment but still present in my mind always and forever nagging, nagging, nagging). I am so frequently guilty of this kind of self-induced stress that I have to remind myself that I’m the one making up the time table! No one is checking to see if I washed the pillows after I spilled coffee on them. No one cares about the stack of papers and mail in the cabinet that has needed sorting since December– yet I treat it as if there’s a deadline!

No where is this more evident than when we’re trying leave for a trip. Beyond packing and preparing,  I am so often doing these completely nonsensical jobs while at risk of making us late and getting frazzled about it. “Hey Babe, we need to get goin’. Kids are in the car.” “BUT WAIT! I didn’t clean out the box of playdoh toys!”

The unfortunate side of these phases of busyness, is that the added stress I give myself because of expectations set by myself can definitely affect the rest of the family.  Sometimes it’s an actual loss of my patience towards them or it’s just because when I operate at high speed I give off the impression that I’m annoyed at the world. But either way, it’s not warranted, and not fair to them.

We frequently hear about the importance of “want vs need” when it comes to learning money management. For me, this is equally true about scheduling time. Just as certain choices may land you in financial debt.  Certain “scheduling” choices may land you in time debt or, for me, emotional debt.

If my choosing to clean out the kids’ closets means that my temper will run extra short and by 4pm and we will all be miserable, then maybe, now is not the time. Maybe I need to ask for help. And I know I need to pray for patience. For now, we can go another day with last year’s winter clothes still taking up tons of space, because we had a pleasant afternoon together coloring and doing puzzles and no one needs to scream into a pillow.

Sometimes it’s literal time overspent, and not the emotional tax. Sometimes I just don’t prioritize the things that I think there will be “time for later”– you know, like long term things that never seem to need to be “done right now”: spending one on one time with the kids, getting a much needed weekend away with Jake, getting back into a regular fitness routine, making time for friends, prayer. How often do I back burner these VITAL pieces of life? Every. Single. Day.

The give and take of invested time and invested emotion within our family is so incredibly important. Yet it is frequently the first thing to be given up when something “needs doing.” When I give away my time, I am really giving away theirs. I want to know my kids.  I want them to know me.  I never want the invites for play to stop because they assume I’m always too “busy”. Quality time spent investing in our marriage, our family and friendships trumps pretty much any task that I may think needs doing! But in this crazy vortex of motherhood where you feel simultaneously like you’re overworking, procrastinating, under performing, pressed for time, yet there’s no end in sight- it is so easy to continue to over look what my “busyness” is keeping me from. And it’s days like this where I find myself sending a text to my Dad to see if anyone is at The Cabin this weekend.

I need to invest now. I need to reset now. I need to give up my selfish agendas to think about what they steal from the people I love. I need to unplug. To reconnect. To practice Peace, to give Love, and find Joy. And did I mention Patience? I need a lot of patience.

“I’m weary with my former toil
Here I will sit and rest a while
Under the shadow I will be
Of Jesus Christ the apple tree”

exhale.

Upcycling a stereo cabinet.

I hauled in this excellent cabinet piece 2 weeks ago. Seasonal tip: this time of year, thrift stores need to shovel everything non-halloween and then non Christmas related out of their stores to make room for their busiest time of year. Almost all the furniture was marked down to $10 or less. This (as well as that bench I shared on Facebook) were selling for $5. And I got that piano for free! So, if you’re in the market for anything second hand, check your local shops now!

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So, this is what I brought home.

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It had a sweet old record player in the center console. Unfortunately it was not in proper working order. That would have been awesome.

But, I WAS able to pull it out in one piece and the kids love playing with the switches and spinning some turn table beats. *wikka-wikka-wikka-whaaa!*

But, I WAS able to pull it out in one piece and the kids love playing with the switches and spinning some turn table beats. *wikka-wikka-wikka-whaaa!*

So first I removed all of the internal components.

So first I removed all of the internal components.

Only the center portion was built to open. So I pried off the ends and fitted them with hinges.

Only the center portion was built to open. So I pried off the ends and fitted them with hinges as well.

Then I spray painted everything with a thick almond white gloss paint.

Then I spray painted everything with a thick almond white gloss paint.

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Next, I closed up the back with a piece of lauan.

Lastly I painted and reattached the hardware, adding the formerly brass knobs I removed from my kitchen last year.

Lastly I painted and reattached the hardware, adding the formerly brass knobs I removed from my kitchen last year.

And there it sits. For a renovation total of roughly $16.

Farm Style Pallet Table

In the garbage business, pallets really are a dime a dozen. Except cheaper. They are also so versatile that they frequently masquerade in all kinds of other designs. One difficult thing about pallet furniture, or any rough wood for that matter, is that can be difficult to clean. That’s why sanding, resanding, and thick sealant is always important.  So, when I had a giant piece of glass left over from a different piece, I knew I wanted to build a pallet table for it.

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I had this partially cut pallet left from an old project.

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I added a simple frame to bring the surface area to match the glass.

I had taken these old spindles from my parent's shed earlier this summer, and they worked out great here.

I had taken these old spindles from my parent’s shed earlier this summer, and they worked out great here.

Next I added some more framing. Some for strength, some for decoration.

Next I added some more framing. Some for strength, some for decoration.

And a coat of paint.

And a coat of paint.

Lastly I added that piece of glass. And here it is in the outdoor display at Dover Antique Mall.

Lastly I added that piece of glass. And here it is in the outdoor display at Dover Antique Mall.

The Latest

Phew! I feel like August just flew by! (except it forgot to take it’s humidity when it left). I have been super busy around here the last few weeks, so pardon my lack of projects and postings.

I moved my shop into a larger space in a prime location at the Antique Mall. Things have been going really well! For the first time I have ZERO finished projects waiting around the house/garage and nothing pending in classified adds. That means items have actually been selling items faster than I can make them! I am feeling very blessed and so encouraged.

Here is a simple piece I cleaned up this week after picking it up off of Rt 74 on Monday.

Definitely in better shape than a lot of the stuff I pick up.

Definitely in better shape than a lot of the stuff I pick up.

And super unique. believe it was an old radio cabinet.

And super unique. I believe it was an old radio cabinet.

Since it was just missing a back and had some blistering from years of sun damage, this upgrade is really straight forward. Discounting dry-time, I finished it in about 90 minutes.

First step was to just clean it. Years and years of that thick dust, and a tiny stash of squirelly walnuts in the lower left corner later and I was feeling even more confident that this would be an easy job.

Plus ripping out the old radio components and the speaker from the drawer.

I ripped out the old radio components and the speaker from the drawer.

I did a very light sanding on the top and then a coat of Polyshades to bring it back to match the tone and shine of the sides.

I did a very light sanding on the top and then a coat of Polyshades to bring it back to match the tone and shine of the sides.

Next I tacked on a new back and dropped in a new shelf.

Next I tacked on a new back and dropped in a new shelf.

That speaker drawer was so awkward with a  hole cut in the bottom and no sides, so I added a craft crate so it can actually hold things.

That speaker drawer was so awkward with a hole cut in the bottom and no sides, so I added a craft crate so it can actually hold things. I totally lucked out that I had one laying around and that it was the PERFECT size. (I don’t do much “pre-planning” if you you haven’t noticed.)

And I moved it into the shop this morning, just in time for the big sale this weekend :)

And I moved it into the shop this morning, just in time for the big sale this weekend :)

Not one of my most drastic upgrades, but I really love classic pieces like this. And when fine wood is salvageable, it’s kind of a shame to spray paint it aqua 😉