Sunday, August 29, 2010

End of Summer...Almost

I think it happened this weekend, as I was doing yardwork. My summer vacation to Emerald Isle is now a week in the past. The students have returned to UMW and are clogging the sidewalks, grocery stores and restaurants. Its still 92 degrees outside, but there's something ever-so-slightly different in the air. And the Steelers are on TV tonight. Yep, I'm pretty much ready to call the Summer of 2010. Fall can come on over. The leaves can change, the humidity can take a hike, and all of my summer clothes that I'm sick of right now can disappear. I'm all set for it. Of course, its not even Labor Day yet, but just so you know, Fall, I'm ready!!

I'm going to go pop a bag of corn chips and get ready for the game. Lest you all think I've jumped the gun on fall a bit too early, let me just say that I did refrain from baking pumpkin bread this afternoon. Even though I really, really wanted to. I'll just make do with corn chips for now...

P.S. The enamel-top table? Its now my TV stand!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Shouldn't Have...But I Did

I went to a big flea market here in town last weekend (actually, it was even called The Big Flea) and I swear I went with the intention of spending minimum cash. In fact, I only took a few bucks. Which I blew ten minutes in on some vintage Pittsburgh post cards. And then I found some awesome Mad Men-ish holiday serving dishes, so I had to go to one of those mini-ATM's that charges a billion dollars in fees. And I swore I was done.

And then I found the Ultimate Flea Find. A piece that I have been looking for since I found out I would be moving into my house. A 1920's enamel-top kitchen cupboard. In near-pristine condition. And it was only $65. It was like light from heaven was shining down on it. The thing is, I had already obtained another table a while back when I wasn't able to find a decent enamel-top piece. So, technically I don't need this cupboard. Nor do I really have a place to put it. But I now own it. And i have to say I'm pretty thrilled with it!

So, its advice time. What should I do with it? Its currently sitting under the side window in my living room, but it takes up a bit too much room there. Would it make a good TV stand? Should I abandon my plan to someday put a bed in the spare room and move it in there? Should I get rid of something in the kitchen and return the cupboard to its original use? Should I completely rearrange the living room? I'm just not sure.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Belated Father's Day

This is the full company of Marines stationed at Barracks Washington DC, after the drill team had performed. If you look closely, you can see the band member standing on top of the monument in the background, just about to play Taps.

It still amazes me that there are touristy things left to do in Washington, DC that I haven't done after living there for 3 years and very close by for another 6 years. It really is a very cool city. Earlier this week when my parents were visiting, I took them up to DC to see my Dad's long-awaited Father's Day present. He has always wanted to see the Marine Corps' Silent Drill Team perform, and I recently found out that every Tuesday evening in the summer they and the Marine Corps Band perform at sunset in front of the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington. The Sunset Parade is free and open to the public, and lasts about an hour. So, I drove the parents up to Arlington, along with a few folding chairs, to take in the show.

It was well worth it, too - we had a great viewing spot, it wasn't nearly as hot and humid as its been lately, and really the Silent Drill Team is incredible. Not to mention that seeing them perform with the memorial, the US Capitol and the Washington Monument in the background is pretty awesome too! My Dad declared it a success, and really enjoyed the performance. I'll admit that my few photos/videos don't do it justice at all, and I only took photos of the band and of the drill team as they marched out. I was too entranced by the drill team to take any photos!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Desk Chair

Finished and in place!

After the last coat...

First coat of primer in progress, while watching bad summer TV, of course...

Cleaning in the driveway - apparently 70 years of rough use will build up some serious grime!

These are a few pics from the most recent project in the spare room - a chair for the new work table. I am extremely proud of this chair, because it is almost identical to the desk chairs I've been drooling over in Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel for months, but unlike those $400 options, this chair cost me a grand total of $10. I found at the Washington City Mission's Renovation Station (which is much like Habitat for Humanity's ReStores) at home in Pennsylvania. The re-sale store usually only sells construction materials and things like used sinks and electrical parts, but they do have a few odds and ends of furniture that come in, and sometimes its kind of unbelieveable what people leave there. This little chair, which was already in primo condition, was holding a huge stack of drop cloths on the day I found it. I asked if they would sell it, and $10 later I had a vintage (I'm guessing 1940's, only because my grandfather had a very similar one when I was a kid that came from his war-era office) banker's chair. Actually, I shouldn't call it "little" at all - its built like a tank, of solid oak and steel bolts. The whole thing weighs about 25 pounds!

The finish was a little beat up, so I decided to try my hand at refinishing it (I know, I know - all of my curator/antique store friends are gasping in shock right now) and quickly discovered that I am not the type of person who has the patience for refinishing. So, after a few failed starts, I decided to just paint the thing white, which would really look better in the room anyway. It took two coats of Kilz primer (low-fume, oil-based) and two coats of semi-gloss white latex paint (both of which I already had). Ta-da! Now it looks perfect in the spare room, which is just about finished.