Shelf Project Underway but Not Finished

Lower Shelf Installed, Upper Shelf Waiting

Lower Shelf Installed, Upper Shelf Waiting

While this will not be a surprise to anyone in the Champlain Valley, it was raining again this morning, with showers forecast all day.  So much for painting the house.  It would be, however, a good day to work on the shelves I wanted to build in the garage.  I was stymied a couple of weeks ago by my missing level.  I did finally find it, hiding behind the paint cans.  How it got there, I can’t say.  I found it when I took a trip to basement with the children to see what paint we had that might be acceptable to paint their rooms.  Another project.

I am glad I had the level.  Someone made a comment on my earlier post that I could just measure from the floor.  I was tempted.  The level was key with the imperfect lumber I had, however.  I was determined to use the lumber I had on hand and not to buy any.  So far so good.

I would have finished both the upper and lower shelves, but I had to take my daughter to the doctor.  She got a cut on her hand a couple of weeks ago and today it was clearly infected.  She and her parents tried to clean it and bandage it but it got the nasties anyway.  She was afraid to go to the doctor.  She didn’t want anyone to poke it and she was afraid the doctor would want to look at her throat.  She hates that.  I’m not a fan myself.  She had no throat inspection, however, just a confirmation that it is infected, a recommendation to come back in a few days to make sure it doesn’t need to be lanced, and a prescription for Amoxicillin.

By the time we got home it was a little late to keep plugging on the shelves.  We had to stop to get the prescription filled (they didn’t have what we needed in stock so had to find a substitute) and shop for a few things to go camping at a state part tomorrow.  I agreed to take the advice of a store employee and use the self-checkout.  That was a bad idea.  I have not had much luck with that approach.  There seem to always be issues.  The system doesn’t like when people bring their own bags, and the slightest shift on the scale sends it into a fit over the fear that one might be heisting some chewing gum.

We paid for the gum.  I am chewing some now.  The shelves wait for me.  Maybe I’ll get to them after our little camping adventure.  Or maybe I’ll just paint.

Missing Level

I had this crazy idea of putting in some shelves in the garage today.  The previous owners had planned to do that and graciously left some boards for the purpose.  They never got to it.  Neither had I.  Today was the day to make it happen.

I had all the materials I needed and I gathered all my tools.  I pretty much just needed to measure and cut and assemble.  Great.  But I couldn’t find a level.  A level is pretty much a must have tool when installing shelves.  I guess I could have just eyeballed it, but I would likely be ruing that decision every time I went into the garage.  Cockamamie shelves just won’t do.

I searched the house to find one of the two levels we own.  We have a newer one and we also have an old one that belonged to my grandfather.  Neither was where it should have been and I looked every place either of them might be.  I looked and looked, searching places two or three times.  I even looked in places it probably would not be found, but where it just might fit, like in with my pants.  You never know.

I was unsuccessful in my quest.  I was even going to try the mini level on our square, but I couldn’t find that.  I kept going out to the garage and looking at the shelf that is there, a makeshift particle board jobber.  That thing is crooked and falling down and unsturdy and ugly.  We keep crap on it anyway.  I want that gone and some solid shelves instead.  I’m not looking for perfection here.  I plan to use the lumber I’ve got on hand.  If I can make this happen, however, we will have more shelf space and stuff won’t slide off every time I shut the door too hard.  Apparently, however, my tools to get the job done have disappeared.

So I have no new shelves.  I did manage to install some hooks to hang our snowshoes.  They have been piled on a shelf (a different one, way up high over the firewood) the past couple of winters, so that at least feels like something.  Summer is well underway and the year, as of today, has entered its second half.  I need to get cranking if I want to get much done this summer.  But first I need to round up all my tools.  I would prefer not to spend the next couple months searching for them.

Firewood on the Deck

We have a pile of firewood on the deck.  That isn’t where we keep the firewood, mind you, but there it is.  It came from under the big old spruce tree.  That isn’t where we keep it either.  It migrated to its spot under the tree from the pile next to the garage.  We usually keep the firewood in the garage, not next to it.  The pile is smaller than it was a while ago.

We got a load of firewood delivered last summer.  We let it sit in a pile, near the garage but not right next to it, for several months.  Once it was clear that winter would not hold off any longer, I moved it into its neat stacks in the garage.  I ran into a problem, of course.  The logs that were against the ground were muddy, gunked up with our clay soil.  So I took those pieces and made a smaller pile as I worked.  I ended up with a pile of muddy chunks.

I left the mud encrusted heating fuel there all winter.  I thought I might move it once it got dry enough to move under cover.  But it never got dry enough.  Then the logs got frozen.  And it snowed.  And I left them there.  When spring arrived and the children started to muck about outside without snow, they decided that firewood makes excellent building material for houses and other imaginary buildings.

That is how the wood found its way to the spruce tree.  New construction, using recycled materials, were used for the new building on the deck.  It was not as practical a building as they might have built, but I was proud of my children for their sustainable building practices.  The building has fallen out of use, and its remains were piled up.  I am waiting for the clean up crew to manage the debris.

The muddy wood pile is now fairly dry.  The mud has fallen off.  I need to move that pile out from the flower bed.  Leaving it there could become a problem soon.  The children will need to find other sustainable building materials.  I am going to burn these.