Looking Up

Today is going along much better than yesterday. I had the day off from school again, but the kids had to go, and since the laundry was done (except for folding) I spent my time in the basement working on my Grandma Frances’ old china cabinet. I’m almost done cleaning pieces. The old finish had “sugared” and needed to be removed, so I’m taking it off using denatured alcohol. It’s a sticky, messy business, but the alcohol is working better than lacquer thinner or a combination of the two, so I’ve been forced to conclude that the old finish was shellac and not lacquer or varnish.

This poor old cabinet has been in pieces for years. Someone (my dad, I think) took it apart years ago and started stripping it, but never quite got done. When I found it (spring of 2002) it was in a long, dusty box in my dad’s barn. I took it home and now that I have a dining room in which to put it I’m trying to get it cleaned up and looking pretty again. The good news is, I still have the glass. The bad news is, the back is missing. I think it got wet and disintegrated years ago. However, Tom at the lumber yard said that the wood was oak (really old oak, probably white oak) so I should be able to buy a piece of red oak plywood and rebuild the back. I plan to stain the piece a walnut color (its original color) and with a finish that dark the pinkness of the new plywood won’t be a factor.

Moose Mutt has recovered from his accidental cookie feast. I was worried, because these were chocolate chip cookies and chocolate is toxic to dogs, but the worst thing that happened is Moose Mutt’s overindulgence in sweets led to some major flatulence. Carl went out last night to put the citronella “barking” collar on the dog, and said the entire shed reeked of methane gas emissions. Judah was still emitting aromas (as Dave Barry would say) this morning, but by noon he was pretty much over it.

Meanwhile, in other news, Mary came home with a “Gym Star” award for the month of January. This is a good thing, because Mary’s never really had an easy time of it in gym class even though she’s fairly athletic. A “Gym Star” award means you’ve followed the rules, helped others, encouraged others, put forth a good effort and worked hard at developing skills. I was especially happy to see the “follows rules” item. Mary sometimes tends to march to the beat of her own drummer, and while that’s good in some respects, it’s not good in an elementary school gym class.

And finally, I want to update my devoted readers on my weight loss progress. I gained a couple of pounds over the weekend (I usually do) thus this morning I was at 202.8 pounds. However, last Saturday I weighed in at 199.8, and with some effort I should be able to get back down there before my doctor’s appointment this Friday. Maybe I shouldn’t be so angry that the dog ate all those cookies after all!

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