Small joys

GM got my new shelf put up in the corner by the door, just above our dorm sized refrigerator.  I love it.  A lot.  I’m thrilled with it.

He’d started out building a much more elaborate shelf, which hadn’t been finished yet.  Then, I’d had a dream about how it should be built, which was about an hour’s project for him.  It’s just a couple of strips of wood screwed to the wall with miter cut boards on top.  He screwed down the two longest boards, but left the inner corner piece loose for me, just in case.  He’s not happy–it has a gap between two of the boards.  I don’t care, a gap is fine with me.  It’s natural pine, unfinished, and coordinates well with everything else.  I intended it for the stereo, but he doesn’t think it will hold the stereo.  We’ll see.  I still love it, even if it won’t hold the stereo!

It’s such a great and yet unobtrusive shelf.  Assets that don’t gulp down space are the best kind when you are in a tiny space.  I’m going to have him duplicate the shelf on the opposite side of the wall in the bedroom, with high hopes it will hold our tiny television set, as I’m thinking that it might be nice to get it out of the storage unit and have it where we could possibly watch television.  I also have high hopes for a shelf about 12″ wide and about 18″ from the ceiling over the head of the bed.  We have zero storage for clothing, and nothing  has worked so far.  Heaps of clothes in baskets and boxes are not my idea of permanent storage, especially when they can only be wedged between the bed and wall, resulting in no walk room.  A shelf over the head of the bed could potentially answer some of our storage issues, even if I do want to restrict it to ONLY fluffy stuff…just in case of a collapse while in bed.

I also want a knife box that hangs on the wall to hold our knives.  I haven’t figured out any other way to store them efficiently, so that is my answer.  There is just enough room on the small wall sticking out alongside the stove to hold a knife box without interfering with the microwave door opening.  Maybe I’ll make a few extras while I’m making ours, and I’ll have some Christmas gifts for friends & family.  If nothing else, they are a great way to showcase different painting styles, and they are simple enough that I have made them in the past with nothing more than a drill, jig saw and a scroll saw.  I might try some alternative designs of the same idea, and if I think they’d work…I might have one in mind that could attach to the cupboard doors instead, which might just be a better idea!  I’d have to angle the knives instead of a vertical insertion though, because a vertical wouldn’t have enough room, while a horizontal would leave me worrying they’d fall out.  Falling knives is NOT my idea of a good way to practice dancing!

We have a long ways to go yet.  We haven’t found a place to move to yet, and it’s still utter chaos, but we slowly find ways to make things work.  With the colder weather, we’re going to be concentrating on making things warmer now too.

We started the warmer project today.  We bought a 20×34″ rug.  I hope it does double duty of giving RedDog a warmer place to lounge for her old bones as well as catches everyone’s dirt from their feet when they enter.  Comfort project #2 was also accomplished today when GM spotted chair cushions at Walmart and suggested that that might be a temporary fix for these horrible hard benches with the foam cushions that does not cushion it much for MY butt.  We bought a package of two, and guess what?

They work.

They aren’t designed for a bench, but they do provide the same cushioning as they would for a hard wooden chair.  They increase my comfort level by 1000% too.  At $10 for 2 of them, it wasn’t an expensive comfort investment either.

So today’s investment for creature comforts and organization was 1 6″ wide board at 8 foot long, about $8.  Furring strip as about $2, but we used part of one from the previous project.  Rug was $9 and the cushions were $10.  The screws were from a box bought previously, so we are doing well with 2 sizes of drywall screws at about $5 per box, one long at like 2″ and the other about 1 1/4″.  I wanted the long ones to use to hang things from, as cup hooks are not only gold colored but priced as though they are made of gold too.  A lot of things I wanted to hang needed something straight rather than hooked, and the longer screws were an acceptable choice for our rustic organization project.

Next project?  I have to have GM drill pilot holes and put up more screws in the boards that were put up as holders.  I want him to install a twin shelf on the other side of the dividing wall for the bedroom, and we’ll need to postpone the over-the-bed shelf until we can afford the boards and brackets.  I’m estimating that will run us about $25.  It won’t actually be 12″ wide, as we’re going to use 2 6″ boards, which aren’t really 6″ but rather something like 5 1/2″ wide after being milled.

We need to put the camping gear in the storage unit for now, and I want to get the television and the scroll saw out of the storage unit and bring it to the trailer for a bit.  I also need to draw up the designs I want to cut with the scroll saw, and figure out where the jig saw has been put, as I’ll need that for my little project.  We’re also putting up a rail to allow me to hang plants outside the trailer, keeping them out of harm’s way and making them easy to move.  I’ll need to get some inexpensive rope, in some natural fiber, to use to hang the plants with, along with hooks that will fit over 1″ PVC pipe.  I’m not going to pretend to do anything fancy with macrame for pot holders, instead I’ll merely use a couple of simple knots at top and bottom with about 6 strands of the rope, so a container can be slid inside of the rope holder, which will have a metal or plastic hook at the top to slide over the PVC pipe easily.  The intention is to put the pipe so that it protrudes about 12″ from the trailer, and then only about 5′ wide, so that the pipe is strong enough to support the pots.  To move the trailer, the pots are simply taken down, and the pipe slid out of the elbows, leaving the portion used as a bracket attached to the trailer.  The intended pot inhabitants are herbs and during the winter, salad greens.  I also am a big fan of Miracle-Gro potting soil, and rarely will even try another brand.  I’ve always had amazing success with Miracle-Gro and comparing it with other brands, I was lucky the plants survived the others.  So to me, it’s worth the extra money if I’m going to be bothered with it at all.  Other people thought I had a really green thumb…instead, I had a bag of Miracle-Gro!  I bought my little sage plant at the Mobile Botanical Gardens annual fall plant sale, and it is beautiful.  I’m going to plant lemon & lime basil and some mixed salad greens this weekend from seed.  Herb plants are VERY scarce around here, and seeds are only available in very limited variety.  So, GM will have some holes to drill for me–I want 4 holes in each of my coffee canister pots.  I figured the red plastic containers are a good size, cheap enough since I get one with each purchase of my beloved Folgers Black Silk coffee…and what better way to recycle than to repurpose a container?  There is something tacky-chic about using the identical canisters too.  I’m demented…I’d love to get a solar powered light shaped like a flamingo with a stake to stick it in the ground outside of the trailer door…

Sometimes, when things aren’t going exactly right, the smallest things can be truly appreciated as real joys.  GM’s completion of my shelf this evening really made the day for me.  My little sage plant was brought in for the night, as it is anticipated to get down to about freezing tonight, and it is sitting on it in its Folger’s coffee canister I have chosen as my tacky-chic planter as I type tonight.  Maybe that’s what it is really all about…a small home and small joys.


About giascott

Writer, blogger, cook, grandmother, mother, wife, radio personality, outdoor enthusiast, dog enthusiast, crafter, artist, and part-time nut~~I've earned a lot of t-shirts in my day! I'm one of those crazy independent women who can cut down a tree, build you a shed, sew you a dress, cook your dinner, make some soap, pitch a tent, build a fire, catch some fish, dig in the garden, chase a kid or two, write you a poem, paint you a picture, and a dozen other things...just don't ask me to sing! I'm also embarking on a relatively new portion of my life, one of being disabled. I'm learning some lessons along the way about a lot of things too.
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