Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Chicago Trip

We accomplished a great many things in not too many days. Here's a list, in no particular order.

1. Removed the four poster bed, old dresser, another old dresser with mirrors.

2. Deconstructed an old entertainment center.

3. Made a new headboard out of some parts from the four poster and entertainment center.

4. Reorganized the closets (The Wife)

5. Painted the headboard, two bedside tables and a patio chair to look black lacquer-ish.

6. Built new dressers (from IKEA)

7. Took pictures of her kids and used those as wall art.

8. Organized Sister in Law's oriental chachkies and used some in the room.

9. Re-wired an oriental lamp to work for the main ceiling lighting fixture.

Some other stuff too. The Wife was the main boss, and did a fantastic job with the overall look. We had fun working together and make a great team as well.

So, to explain the things from a couple of posts ago...

I was able to put one of the mirrored doors back on its tracks. Not a huge deal, but one left undone for quite some time. My Father in Law made the comment to The Wife that I was very mechanically inclined. I take some pride in my creativity and adaptability when it comes to creating new things from old (headboard from old furniture, etc) but am glad to be noticed for the little things like getting a closet door working again.

When we left for Chi-town, I took with me a little toolbox with my electric drills and their chargers. I was told we would be deconstructing some old furniture and these are pretty valuable little tools to have. The Shaffer men love their drills so much, we have given them names...courtesy of my father. My big drill is named Brutus. He's the one Dad gave me many years ago. My Father in Law gave me another a few years back, a little smaller than Brutus, so I named it Brutus Jr. They are both very hard workers and reliable. If they were people, I'd hire them. Anyway, as the plan for the room evolved, it was decided to build the headboard. I didn't have the tools I needed, but my Sister in Law went around to her neighbors and borrowed what I needed.

I think that if we go into business, I will want to buy a small trailer for a travelling shop. Borrowed tools usually have the foibles of their owners. The table saw we borrowed was no exception. The neighbor it was borrowed from was not a shop kind of guy, as the table saw was located in the laundry room and looked to have been used maybe twice in the past three years.

The blade was a bit wobbly from improper tightening, and he didn't have the wrench to tighten it. I hand tightened it once and used my wrench once. But it wasn't very effective. I used the saw as little as possible and with nobody else around should things go awry.

All went well though, and cuts were made in only the things I planned to cut. I did borrow some tools from Sister in Laws hubby too. Made re-wiring the lamp a little easier. But in all, I think I'd rather have me own tools in the future. They have MY foibles attached. and I know my foibles!

The Boyo was particularly good for the trip. Long hours, late nights, no real schedule close to what he is used to. People telling him left and right what not to do. But he stayed pretty chipper and was a very good boy. He and his cousin were playing Wii sports. Well, mostly it was the cousin playing and 'showing' the Boyo the games. This was accompanied by the cousin regaling the Boyo on how wonderfully talented the cousin is. Nine year olds are a bit prone to narcissism, so no big deal. But Boyo took it all in stride and I overheard him at one point saying "Don't worry, Cousin. That was a very good shot!"

I hope that when Boyo is nine he retains the kindness and graciousness he currently has. My Sweet Pea was a gem too. Mostly sleeping and eating and cooing and smiling.

As for 'Milly'. This is but one of the nicknames I have for my Mother in Law. Get it? Mother In Law... MIL... seemed right to call her 'Milly'. I also call her 'JB' sometimes as my father called his mother in law (Stood for 'Jackie Baby') (Mom in Law's name also starts with J) She is gracious to a fault as well, and I always feel welcome when I visit their home.

She is a bit of an enigma sometimes. Always very much a Lady, she has secret fantasies about motorcycle riding. Very much the homemaker as well, but with an adventure streak... wanting to go on RAGBRAI, still waiting for me to take her flying. She's quite the gal. I love my in-laws, and have been very much blessed that I not only get along with them, but feel like I am a respected and loved member of their family. So different than what the stereotypes are.

Anyway. That's the story of the Great Chicago Room Makeover Trip. Here's to the beginning of a new chapter for The Wife and me. I'll keep you posted.

More Later

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