Monthly Archives: December 2019

Poor man’s woman ‘s breakfront

It should be apparent to anyone who reads this blog semi-regularly that I an mad for food, decidedly one of those people who lives to eat. I like the trappings of meals; dishes, presentation, etcetera, but when it comes to spending money, I prefer generally to put it toward actual food. Still, I’ve been thinking for awhile that I’d like to display some of my pretty dishes. In my fantasies I imagine having a china cabinet with glass doors and lighted shelves. Why, the linked one costs a mere $2700 ๐Ÿ˜• and would only require removing perhaps half the other furniture in this small home to make space for it. So yeah, I’m not going to be buying anything like that but my yearnings haven’t ceased.

I’ve recently posted about fixing up found shelves and found drawers. After I got the small drawers I no longer needed the open shelves in my room, which had kind of been a stop-gap measure anyway. I didn’t want to part with the shelves so soon, especially considering their secret message on the back which was there when I spotted them awaiting trash day.

I’ve also got this little wooden piece that’s in the living area that I found and fixed up in 2018. I like it a lot and it’s been great.
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I was brainstorming and had an idea but wasn’t sure it’d work till I fetched the yardstick and did a few measurements. Voila! My idea, combining two pieces into one was going to work for my poor man’s woman’s simple breakfront. I thought breakfront was the right word and once I googled it, my definition was confirmed. A breakfront is merely two pieces, hence the break.

I put the open shelves on top of the white/orange/green unit (I don’t know what you call a piece of furniture with both a cabinet and drawers). The colors already matched; I just painted the backs of the open shelves white and took the long, narrow decorative front piece off the bottom and nailed it to the top. That last effort completed it – now it looks like one (intentional) piece. Standing 57″ tall and not 3′ wide, it’s of modest size but much bigger and it would likely overwhelm the space. (Furniture is swell but I still want room to walk around!) I was so excited to put dishes on the shelves. I realize without doors, the shelves & dishes will get dusty but I think the look of this makes it worth a bit of extra cleaning.
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In the process of making this I bumped – only bumped – my beautiful, stupid icicle lights that hang from the high narrow shelf on the wall (above my new “breakfront) and they quit working.๐Ÿ˜ I was bummed, all the more because it’s the second strand to quit. I’m wondering if I should try something else, maybe a single strand of lights.

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The lights that are no more

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Here’s ths new piece in context – I’m delighted๐Ÿ˜Š

Lastly, the square table is a new-to-me piece I found this summer. I’ve really been liking it. (I still have a bigger table stored away if I need it.) My dream table for this spot is small and round. Who knows – one may just turn up some day… I doubt, however, that a china cabinet of my fancies will show up so for now, I’m satisfied with my little piece.๐Ÿ˜Š

“Giddy yap” indeed

For several years now in December, in the privacy of my home, I’ve belted out the lyrics to Sleigh Ride. I have to do it without stopping and without messing up. I can’t sing but it’s an animated performance done with gusto as it should be.๐Ÿ˜

I have never been nor particularly expect to go, on a “sleigh ride.” Still, the song paints the loveliest images of the season: good company, good food, snow, parties, and snuggling against the cold. Sounds pretty nice! I can imagine myself flying along in the sleigh or passing around pumpkin pie. A second piece? Why, I don’t mind if I do! Whipped cream? Oh yes, please!

The only part I don’t really get is the “birthday party at the home of Farmer Gray.” I don’t see where either a farmer or a birthday party fit into the song’s sensibility. Maybe they just needed a name to rhyme with “day” in the following line but if I allow that, I still don’t understand why they’re not going to a holiday party or a Christmas party. Why birthday? And whose? Farmer Gray’s? It’s not clear.

Anyway, I think it’s such a cheerful song without being a sappy one. I am charmed to hear it, even when it’s me in the kitchen.

Found wood drawers get fixed up

I have professed my fondness for actual wood furniture so it’s a happy day for me when I – literally – find some, roadside that is. I have been wanting narrow wood drawers and saw these. They were “structurally sound” and I saw potential so I brought them home. They stand 30″ tall and are not quite 16″ wide and not quite 10″ deep.
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I took off and threw out the back cover which was not real wood and in bad shape, stained and warped. I can put another cover on if I want to but I’m not too worried since the back will be against the wall, limiting how much dust will potentially get inside. I also removed the small “front” at the very bottom.

I decided to effectively raise the height of the drawers by making a simple little stand out of scrap wood, which adds an open shelf at the bottom.

I removed the small wood knobs and replaced them with a quartet of fabulous metal drawer pulls (a sun, moon, leaf, and flower) that I’d put on kitchen cabinets a year ago (after having found them roadside on a ratty little set of fake wood drawers that weren’t any match for their beauty). Here they were on the cabinets.

I painted the outside of the unit light green including the little stand I made, and although the pictures aren’t showing it, the drawers themselves are painted one coat of a darker green – I let just the drawer fronts go after only a single coat because I realized the “distressed” look it created was kind of working. I liked it! Again, sorry, the picture doesn’t really show it.
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The drawers, likely being old, were somewhat “sticky” and I found the advice online to rub a bar of soap on the bottoms and also inside where the drawers touch. Very effective! Although I’d washed the whole thing before beginning the fix-up, I also put a coat of white paint on the insides of the drawers since I planned to put nice things (clothing things) inside and from the looks of it at least one drawer had held tools or something similar in its previous life. I lined the drawers with pretty wrapping paper.
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And then the fun part: putting stuff in them. I decided they’d be best for things I don’t use too often but still want to have at hand easily. (Shown here are my stash of “fuzzy socks” some oversized scarves, and a few tights.)

The drawers are very sweet, hold a decent amount of stuff and aren’t taking up much space in my small room. I’m really pleased with how they turned out for not much trouble at all.

Short Thought 248 (messages)

I was starting to think he was a kind of an attractive man before I saw his World’s Greatest Grandpa shirt. I think it’s fine and dandy if a man loves his grandkids, but you might just as well wear a shirt that says I no longer consider myself a sexual being.

About them 2019 resolutions…

Okay, so I did all right. I won’t be crossing quite everything off the lists but I’m basically satisfied. In both 2018 and 2019 I made highly specific “kinda, sorta resolutions” tailored to me. It’s worked out well.
I read 33 books. The goal was 20. I did most of my reading in the early part of the year. I put check marks by 13 of them, indicating which ones I really appreciated.ย  I can’t read the way I used to; it takes more to hold my attention, more to get me to sit in a spot for hours with a book. Because of that, six of my 33 were books I’d read in years past and wanted to read again. Sometimes I just need a sure thing. I have little patience these days for tryingย to get into a book, trying to relate to characters, or trying to care about the subject matter. I get restless. And I KNOW there are books – like all things – which can hold me; it’s a matter of finding them.

A year ago I bought a yoga mat and a DVD player for the TV in the living room, the only place (other than outside!) where I have space for doing yoga. As with the reading, most of my yoga was done earlier in the year. I am very active outdoors most of the year and didn’t need more exercise of any stripe. Because I hadn’t totally factored that in I fell somewhat short of my intentions. I’ve done the five-minute “sun salutation” 38 of 50 planned times and the 30-minutes of yoga just half of 25 planned times. That said, when I DID do yoga it was usually in 40-45 minute increments per the instructional DVDs.

I like yoga. I don’t worry much about fussy breathing or learning all the poses’ names, or anything that might daunt, bore, or intimidate me. To me, yoga is exercise. Exercise focused on strength, balance, and stretch. It’ll make your body move in ways it wouldn’t in the normal course of a day which is an especially good idea for anyone who is aging. Otherwise you end up like the tin man!๐Ÿ˜ฏ I want to be strong, agile, and spry as long as possible. The way I live is dependent on it at many levels. I will not go down easily. I know I’ll be doing yoga over the winter.

I did ZIPPO with learning Italian from cds. That fell off the map in short order because I wasn’t enjoying it and I wasn’t learning Italian. All I can say is I recently heard “piazza” somewhere or other and knew it meant plaza.๐Ÿ˜ I think I ‘d like to learn – or try to learn – key phrases and words at least as a starting-off point rather than attempt the language itself. That, or I need different cds. I felt inept very quickly with the set I was using. Other than English, I have never felt I had an aptitude for languages and my opinion after this year hasn’t changed a whit.

Thai cooking wasn’t a success either. Thai cooking, it seems, requires a lot of ingredients I don’t typically have and more trouble than I wanted to invest. I did attempt spring rolls because I love them when I have them out but mine, which I decided to bake since I cook NOTHING in pots of oil, were okay, not great.ย  Instead, I continued to make thisย Thai-inspired cole slaw. If I can find more recipes like it, I’d definitely try them. Lime, peanuts, cilantro, be still my heart!

I watched a lot of DVDs, both movies and series. I had wanted an idea of the number since I’d never kept track. The thing I realized is that as with books, I need the right movies or series to hold me. I ADORE movies, as I adore books and music. But a lot of each is just average, nothing special, not to me. I want the gems, the ones I get excited about, the ones that thrill me, and make me sit back in awe of someone else’s brilliance and accomplishment. How did they do that?! That’s the feeling I want. That’s why I read, watch movies/series, and listen to music.ย  I want to have that O-MI-GOD feeling. Am I demanding? Do I expect too much? Yeah, well maybe. But once you’ve had that feeling, it’s Continue reading