Thursday, May 24, 2012

Craigslist Finds: Sodor Island

I worked at a group practice back in Los Angeles. During one of our last lunches there, my supervisor/mentor whispered into my ear, "Get ready for Thomas." Little did I know, she was foreshadowing the inevitable transformation into the Thomas-the-train-obsessed boy that our little boys will face.

It's like listening to a 12-year-old boy's voice grow deeper.
It's like realizing your kid's jeans are flooding 2 inches and wondering, "When did this happen?"
It's the quiet but shocking realization your baby is not a baby anymore...but a little boy.

I don't have 75 bucks to drop every Target trip on Thomas. So I scoured Craigslist and found a lady who had collected almost everything.

We talked on the phone. She was sad to sell. But it's not really about Thomas. It's about how our boys are growing up so fast. Her son said to her, "Mom, I'd like for you to get rid of my Thomas table. I'm ready for a Lego table." It was one of those defining moments for her that her little boy wasn't so little anymore. I felt the same.

So we made the deal happen. We emailed a few times even after the transaction, which I never do, because it was really a sentimental exchange. She was inviting me into the Thomas world as she was exiting.

This is just the first batch of trains. Disinfecting...

The previous owner laid out and nail gunned the tracks in one of the several official TTT (Thomas the Train) configurations. Really??? I didn't know that existed. 

I added more rails and all of the little shops.

Engine wash

The Honey Factory

They buzz around...

Tidmouth Sheds!!!

The bridge moves up and down

Cranky the Crane? Idk...

James is vain but lots of fun... (Trees from Nara's Party)


Lesson Learned:

I never knew how much I loved playing with trains.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Rummage Sale Treasure

Thanks to my friend, Yoonha, the fam heard about a rummage sale in Princeton sponsored by the local hospital. We dug around here and there. Chief wanted a projector & screen probably so he could continue his FIFA career in style...but we ended up walking away with this.

It's an architechtural drawing of the Cologne Dome in Germany. It is one of the most extraordinary cathedrals in the world. The project started in 1248 AD. Fully completed by 1870s. Talk about a long project.

It needed some work. Not of fan of the birch framing. Very dusty. 

Painted the frame black and cleaned up. Fit well above my piano and chevron rug.

Lesson Learned:

1. I'm quite unsupportive of Chief's FIFA career.

2. Rummage sales can be a lot of fun.



Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Greenhouse

Los Angeles
Buy potting mix.
Buy plants and containers.
Done in 20 mins.

New Jersey
Till the soil.
Pull weeds.
Remove stones.
Shoo deer.
Shoo vicious squirrels.
Fill groundhog holes.
So many dang bugs.
Done in 2 weeks with a backache.

Both are enjoyable, but the animals and critters are really hard to control. Deer fencing works, but if I were going to pay for deer fencing on someone else's land, might as well get a greenhouse so I can garden throughout the winter.

So Grandpaly and the family made it happen.

Bought lumber and parked out in the field

My laborers unloading, aka mother-in-law & father-in-law

Chief wondering, "When will this end? I'm a white-collar man. My body can't handle this manual labor..."

Needed to pull the grass. So heavy I tell ya!

"Nice job, guys. Keep it up." he sips on his pouch.

The frame is up. Took us a whole day just to pull that corner of grass.

The vinyl is going up. Made the mistake of buying 6mm vinyl which only allows 45% sunlight. Changed to 3.5mm which allows 85%. 

Chief working late into the night to till that new jersey soil.

Has a door and everything. Hope it works. 

What was I doing? Cutting wild flowers and taking pictures. Something to that effect.

We will see if this works...

Lesson learned:
I really appreciate farmers.



Sunday, May 6, 2012

Craigslist Finds: My Free Playground

One man's trash is another man's treasure. So true...especially re the stuff on Craigslist.

This lady was giving away her wooden playground set. I wrote her a very convincing email and she chose us over the tons she received in 1 hour of her posting and let us haul this hidden beauty away (I had checked out playgrounds like this for about 8 months now so I told her the details of how I plan on hauling this massive thing away. She felt convinced I meant business. I sure do, when it comes to Craigslist.)

Testing out the product at their house. I think the lil guy approves. 

We rented a Uhaul truck. This thing was massive. 

Very heavy, I tell ya. 

Have you ever gotten nervous after taking something apart because you may not remember how to put it back together? 

Somebody is ready for a, please. 

Grandpaly was the mastermind behind this project. Out there at the crack of dawn with his cigare...medicine. 

Chief sanding away the old wood, revealing fresh red oak. 

I think the set was 15 years old or so. Had to get rid of some rusted parts. 

 Put in new chains

Added some new color. Can you see the top vs bottom bar?

Oh, so patient...

And FINALLY! After three full days of hard work!
(Still a lot of detailing left to do. Need to sand some more, weather proof it, add safety sand paper here and there)

A happy kid in NJ

Lesson Learned:

Never despise the old or unattractive. You'll be surprised.