Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Reinvent and Reimagine

I use those words a lot (reinvent and reimagine) when I'm writing grants.  Recycling properties that were once used for industrial purposes and reimagining them into something new once they've been cleaned up - put back into productive use - I tell that story over and over.  In fact, am gearing to write it about 18 or so times over the next 60 days as I write for communities in the hopes of getting some federal funding to help move redevelopment along.

But I'm also using them a lot more around the ol' homestead these days.  (And I dare say - my spouse starts to cringe and shudder just a bit when they come out of my mouth - as they usually involve some sort of woodwork for him...)

Case in point - my first Annie Sloan Chalk Paint project.  When we moved into this house - we gave up a lot of storage.  A LOT of storage, apparently, because after I unpacked the last box to make sure nothing had been broken in transport, I realized we had a lot of crap treasures with no place to store them.

The curio cabinet we moved with us was bursting at the seams - and there was simply no place to store the platters and plates, bar ware and serve ware that had filled the built in cabinets in our old home.

Realizing I'm married to who is arguable the cheapest man alive - I knew new furniture was out of the question.  So I'd have to get creative.

Enter the Habitat for Humanity store + Stylish Patina.  I signed up and took one of the chalk painting classes at Stylish Patina after visiting the shop and warehouse sales.  I loved loved loved the shabby chic look - and wanted to learn the secrets to recreating it in my own home.

Then I found a whopper of a deal on a huge (and I mean HUGE) china cabinet at the Habitat store.  It was well built of solid wood - and heavy as hell - but in pretty bad shape.  I bought it intending to donate or somehow get rid of the top china cabinet piece - was really after just the buffet/server piece to go in our dining room (since we already have a china cabinet - to have two would just look ridiculous.)  We got the monstrosity of a piece home - moved the server into place - and stuck the china hutch in the downstairs hall.  Where it sat.  And sat.  And got in the way.  And collected dust.  And irritated the heck out of me because it was so in.  The.  Way.

So.  I decided to try to paint it and make a curio out of it.  Why not - right?  If I totally screwed up - it wasn't a loss - because I was ready to take a  hatchet to it to just get it out of my house.

Deonne came up with the idea of adding feet to it to make it look more like a curio cabinet vs. the top of a china cabinet - so I was off...

In the Habitat Store - waiting to come home

Protecting the really old really cool glass...

First coat Annie Sloan Provence Blue Paint

Ta Da!!!

I'm pleased as punch.  Turned out great - and the finish with the wax is so super soft.  (I'm happy to say I think even Kelly (owner of Stylish Patina and super chalk painter/teacher extraordinaire)'s mama would be proud...)

Now.  What else can I get my paws on to reimagine and reinvent.....

I Should Write A Book

Monday.  One of the worst days of the week.  The day when we all grumble about getting back into the routine that we've missed for a whopping two days.  When we force our children to rise by 7:00 am (gasp), get dressed (oh the horror), and put their shoes on to make it to the bus stop by 8:10 am.  I know.  Horrid, right?

Difficulties in getting said kids clothed and fed and reasonably groomed are exacerbated when one of them is ill.  Like Jack - who I was pretty sure had strep throat (later confirmed by the MD.)  

But this Monday was like no other.  

Fast forward to the afternoon.

Jack is napping.  (finally)

Anna is off to gymnastics with Deonne (so that I can stay home and tend to sick-o.)

James is watching TV after school and generally being a lazy sloth - begging for more snacks and laughing like a hyena to whatever garbage was playing on Cartoon Network.

I'm making a daily sweep through the downstairs - picking up errant socks, piling up random pieces of toys and junk that the kids have strewn about - and reach down to pick up one of the boys rubber snakes.

That started to turn it's head and look at me right as I was about to touch it.

I'm sure you can guess what happened next.  Yeah - I'm not proud.  I screamed.  Like a girl.  A lot.

James came round the corner to see what the fuss was about.  And he screamed.  Like a girl.  A lot.

I tried to make him pick it up to take it outside - cause it was just sitting there - staring at us and not moving.  For a moment I thought I might have imagined it - and it was indeed just a toy snake.  Until it moved.  And slithered.  And wiggled it's little tail.

So I tried again to get James to be the 'man of the house.'  No go.

I debated waking Jack up and throwing him in the car and driving away - anywhere - to get away from the vermin in the house. But seeing as he was still recovering from strep - and really needed the sleep after a restless night the night before - I decided that was a bad idea.

So I sent James for help.

He returned moments later with Steven.  Who is Steven, you ask?  The FIVE year old kid who lives next door.  Who happily showed up with a paper plate and a grin - ready to save us all from the serpent from hell.

And he tried - he diligently tried to capture the snake.  He followed it into the hall closet - started pulling boots and jackets and other such winter items out of the closet in an attempt to find the evil one.  He asked me to help him empty the closet so he could get it.

I declined. 

Rather - I told him to stuff everything back in the closet and barricade the door and leave it until Deonne came home. All the while trying to get the creepy heebie jeebies to go away...

So Deonne finally makes it home after gymnastics - gets a good giggle out of the whole ordeal - and then proceeds to empty the closet.  And comes back upstairs empty handed.  No snake.  He tried.  I kinda freaked out - okay - I more than kinda freaked out - then said a few silent prayers that this thing had slithered off somewhere to die.  

Fast forward.  We get through dinner.  All is calm.  (as calm as it gets round these parts anyways)  We start getting the kids ready for their bath - I walk in our bedroom - and see a pretty good blob of ooey gooey blood.  On the floor.  Actually - on my favorite jeans which happened to be on the floor.

Shit.  That's where the cat had been sleeping.

So upon examination of Juna - the cat with the propensity to have clogged anal gland (APPARENTLY), we discover yep - she's blown her ass out again.  Ruptured abscessed anal duct.

Freaking awesome.

Fantastic ending to a banner day for the Longs.  

Monday morning chaos + strep throat + snake in the house + abscessed anal duct.

Can't wait to see what Tuesday brings.