Monday, June 22, 2009

Table Project, Completed

I've never been reticent to admit that the philosopher and I are pretty handy around the house. We've hung sheetrock, rewired boxes, fiddled with plumbing (successfully), repaired walls and floors, installed insulation, and dozens of other things. When we took on our most recent project, though, I was afraid we'd bitten off more than we could chew.

Some of my errant thoughts over the last two weekends:

"This table is 100 years old... what if we damage it?"

"We just bought these chairs, yeah, they're unfinished but what if we muck up the stain and ruin them?"

"We've matched the stain as close as we could, but what if the chairs and the table don't look right together?

"Can you get polyurethane out of leg hairs, or will we need to shave his leg?"

At the end, though, it was worth every bit of the 100 degree days in the shop, the layers of stain and poly coating fingers and clothes (and yes, legs), the sanding masks and the ventilator masks as we applied the stripping compound.

And here it is, set and ready for Father's Day dinner with my dad. Yay!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vacation memories...

Well, my vacation (such as it was) is over. As I said before, we didn't really go on any adventures, but we did have some great "down-time" and recharged the batteries a bit. I'm not getting a full week off this summer, but I am getting three smaller "vacations". My next one will be Fourth of July weekend, when we actually ARE going out of town to visit our favorite biologist in West Virginia. Yay!

But I digress - what did we do this past weekend? We started a project long anticipated... we stripped and started the refinishing process on my grandmother's dining room table. We had always assumed it was walnut. Nope. After we got the 100 years of stain and shellac off, we discovered a beautiful wood that was almost pink in color. But it's not cherry. It's mahogany. And it's absolutely gorgeous. To prove it, here are a couple of photos. The first is the professor (in full respirator gear) as he started the stripping process.

This next picture is the table after two coats of polyurethane. We decided not to add any stain at all, and just let the wood speak for itself.

I can't wait to see how it looks when we get the chairs finished too. (We bought ones like THIS at Wood You in Opelika.) We're planning to go to the local paint store and get them to custom color-match the table with their computer system. So theoretically, even though the table is mahogany and the chairs are parawood (from the rubber tree), the coloration will be very, very close. We're hoping to finish up the process this weekend. If we succeed, I'll post a before-and-after pic for your perusal!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


"Vacation, all I ever wanted, vacation have to get away....."

Well, it's a vacation from WORK, anyway. We're not actually going anywhere exotic, or doing anything fabulously interesting. But it's a few days away from the library, and that indeed is a Good Thing. But, we will do some fun things, like...

*Visit the philosopher's sister who lives a couple of hours away
*Go for a hike on the Pinhoti (this time Salem Church Road to the High Point trailhead)
*Watch movies and do some scrapbooking (yes, at the same time)
*Lounge in the hammock (or maybe even *in* the pool if it's really hot)
*Cook something fun, bake something tasty
*Complete one designated house project (as yet to be determined)

So there you go. And off I go!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Happy Birthday!

No, it's not my birthday but the philosopher's. We're celebrating with dinner out. I already gave him his present... new hiking boots. Though we may go shopping for a new weed whacker this weekend, that in no way counts as a present. It would be like him giving me a vacuum cleaner! I told him yesterday that this weekend was his. We'd do whatever he'd like to do, whether it be hiking or talking philosophy or reading Tom Clancy, J. K. Rowling, or Stephen King (oh wait - that would be me. He'd probably be reading Wodehouse or Charles Taylor). As of last night, he was still considering all the possibilities!

A Random Aside:

We received TEN POUNDS of napa cabbage in the most recent farm delivery. Holy cabbage, Batman!!

So, we went to Olive Garden for dinner. We went to his favorite coffee shop for lattes and dessert. We went hiking at Cheaha State Park (and found ourselves trailblazing off the wrong trail. More on that in a later post.) My mom took us out to lunch on Sunday. We spent time by the pool, the philosopher on a float and me in a hammock. It was a great weekend!