19 November 2008

Shelves- a statement of support

So this is the deal. I have always wanted built in bookshelves. I have worked for years to earn my degrees (BA, MA, PhD) and have loved doing them. Books were the foundation of my education and my books have been in storage for 2 years. I have wanted to have my books, for reference, for review, for support, for comfort. 

But the challenge is that I don't want to spend any more money on the office for now, and the walls are not straight. If you look at this picture you can see where they come in at angle towards the top. (It is because the bales are pressed up against the 2x8s that are the band around the main support post)

The light is so gorgeous this time of year in the office too...

So, to start with I needed sturdy posts that would go from the yes, ANGLED ceiling to the floor to serve as the main support. 

I have big 4x4s, but they are pressure treated and I didn't want them in the office. (Icky fumes)
I didn't think I had anything, until I realized I had a huge pallet that some of the lumber for my deck came on. When I moved it, it was really heavy, but the rails were definitely long enough.
So I cut and braced those.
I also had the wooden natural post from Barbaritoes, I wanted to use... I didn't know how to cut them since they are big and round... but I figured someone could do it, (obviously) and I'd figure it out when I get to it.
But first things first:

Getting the shelves built.
Lots of little challenges - and a lot of little things to figure out. That always feels good.
The first two shelves are about 16 inches deep. The others are only about 5-8 inches deep.

Once I got them up (which FELT WONDERFUL!) It was time to get my books!!
They are buried in the garage with a bunch of other things blocking the way, so I got what I could.
and the ones from around the house
And a few other goodies. The black and white 4 sided star is something James made when he was about 13. I've always had it near my desk.
I'll probably put another picture in there, but at the moment, that will do.
It got dark as I was hauling books out to my office, so I had to stop, but it was great to have them there behind me. I love it!!

And I moved my desk into my office! It's real and official and MINE!!

I'm so proud of myself for this one!

What's next?

The floor in - working so good so far. There was a bit of a gap between the wall and the floor, so I got to play with stucco again - it was fun! And then...

I decided it was time to put in book shelves... 

I mean not to brag or anything... but this is the view from my office....

I love my office

such good energy!

What a view!

Working on a lovely day

Sometimes there are not words...

My Mother being lovely

Isn't she pretty?

Floor in!!

That was the easy part...

Ceiling up!

I got the ceiling up. The tongue and groove was a bit challenging at first, but then I finally got it.
You have to put the tongue up before you get your groove on.

The wood is from the walls at Barberitoes.

Aged and weathered, by leaving it out side for a year. PERFECT!

tongue and groovy

09 November 2008

Misc. and a Johnny Cash Pick-up truck

Bird feeder hung out at the office - VERY POPULAR with our winged neighbors...

and below, due to some rather challenging situations - including a car getting totaled, (no one hurt, thank heavens!) insurance none sense, and the need for short term (-ish) reliable transportation... I am now the proud owner of a 1982, 1986, 1989, 1992 $400 Pick-up truck.
The truck "runs good", needed some attention and a tune up but my awesome mechanic called to say he was having trouble ordering parts. It turns out it's had some things done to it and he wasn't quite sure what year it was. He said "It runs, and I'll get it fixed up for you, but you need to know it's been put together kind of funny" To which I had to reply "Gary, are you telling me I bought a Franken-truck?" He laughed and then it hit me! "I bought me a Johnny Cash Pick-up truck!!" (See the wonderful song One piece at a time) Gary and I have bonded over this!

Suffice to say, it is just sort of ironic that AT THE END of the building project I buy a truck?

Oh well... I'm sure I'll still have plenty of stuff to haul for a while!
And there will always be more projects...

Next - ceiling prep

Can you see the dog who knows that she's next to get a bath? Seriously impressive camo there Lucy!
Separated out the tongue and groove yellow pine that was from Barberitoes walls. 
But it sat outside for a year - and needed some cleaning up first...

Mrs. Leah Gulnaria

Leah is one of our oldest family friends - she and my mother were very close when my parents were with the Friend's Mission Board in Kenya (and I was born there). Leah is from Madioli Kenya, a family and community matriarch. She has 10 children and is an amazing 82 year old woman. She and my mother came to visit in September - They are working together to raise money for a clinic and an orphanage in Madioli where the HIV/AIDS pandemic is wreaking havoc on the community. Leah has lost 3 children to AIDS, and is raising grandchildren herself.
It's a big challenge but one that needs to happen. 

Leah's comment about my office was "It is cement, but it looks like mud!" She's impressed but understandably puzzled by the appearance. It's okay. I'm proud of it and very proud of her too!


Getting ready for Doors up....

25 August 2008

Been away...

Dear Gentle Readers,

So sorry for my longish silence. I was off to Ontario for a dear friends wedding. It was on the beautiful Lake Bob, and was a delightful adventure in unwinding. The photo above is of the sunrise my first morning there... so lovely!

And my favorite laborer is off doing some new labor of his own. James has started his freshman year at Earlham College. It's a wonderful place and I hope he'll thrive there. It's my own alma mater and I know what a special place it is. I know what a special kid James is. I think it could be a good match once he adjusts.

I'm working in the office now, having swept the floor a bit and re-rigged my tarp. It's just started to rain and is quite lovely out here at the moment. I have a good bit of work yet to do on the office, but other things to tend to as well... I'll keep you all posted!

Take care, be well, do good!


13 August 2008

Getting there...

Getting there. The floors will go in nicely (yeah!)

The Georgia situation is a mess. So much for the optimism from yesterday. 
It's protracted. It's going to get more so.

The line of the day had to be the Russian response to Bush's announcement that he's sending troops in to Georgia for "humanitarian" aid due to the crisis there. The Russian Foreign Minister simply said: We see Mr. Bush needs a new speech writer. 

I'm heading out of town for a bit. 

Progress may or may not continue in my absence.

We'll see....


I'll post photos tomorrow. 

The office is coming along and we've got the floor figured out. It looks SOOOOO AWESOME!!!

Briefly, this morning I woke up to the news that Russia had issued a cease fire. It's calming down in Georgia and (fingers crossed) the worst is over. Russia's willingness to cooperate is encouraging. 

It was a perfect birthday present for me to hear and I'm ever thankful.

Tim sounded great and I'm glad for it.

More soon.


11 August 2008

Worse cases...

As a professor, I've taken a perverse delight in spinning out the worst case scenario for a situation with international conflicts in order to drive home the importance of knowing what is going on in the world for my students. Normally, it doesn't come to pass, we breath a deep sigh of relief. 

It gets their attention. It makes it relevant and it makes an impact. 

But today as I was frantically reading through the news on line and watching CNN International, I looked at James, and said "for all the years I've studied the Caucasus, and as much as I love this region, watching this is like the worst case scenario come to life."

He nodded solemnly and said "yeah. . . it really sucks."

Or as I said to my mother, it reminds me of watching the 9/11 attacks, but no one else really aware of why this is so tragic. 

Perhaps I'm over dramatizing. It would be nice to know I am.

Georgia situation:


For back ground for anyone keeping up with the news:

Briefly, my MA thesis was an in-depth analysis of Russia's decision to use force against Chechen and Tartar secessionist movements, my PhD dissertation was on incentives for domestic policy makers to agree to join the Black Sea and Caspian Sea Environment Programmes, focusing on the Caucasus. And of course, I've been studying the social and economic influences region for more than 15 years and working there as a consultant since 2001, with the UNDP Kura Project(s), Black Sea Environment Programme, Caspian Environment Programme, IFC Stakeholder Analysis for the BTC Pipeline, etc. I also have now become certified in "mediation and alternative dispute resolution". Suffice to say, this situation is ringing all sorts of bells for me.

Let us all hope and pray for peace to come soon.

10 August 2008


Hi Folks!
First, news from Georgia is that the family is safely stowed in the mountains at a lovely place, and there is a sense that all is well - or as well as it can be in a small country being invaded by Russia...

Upon hearing the good-ish news I dashed outside to happily slap stucco upon the walls. This is the finish coat and I have to admit, I'm lovin' it!!

Here it is on the first day - actually Friday.

I'm groovin' with the wabi-sabi - it looks so organic.

Like the forms inside are looking forward to emerging and moving in!
Oddly the second bag was a very different hue - See below:
I decided to use the more gray bag on the lower back wall. The bookshelf will cover it mostly, so it won't be so evident. Interestingly, it was marked as "white" like all the other bags...
Once it went up, it looked bluer, and the next day the three bags had some definite differences in shades... But still I really like the organic shapes of it.
So now I am done with the stuccoing. It was actually a lot of fun and sort of inspiring. I'd love to do more and when I DO finish the outside later, I'll get to do more. 

But as is stands now, I'll working on the insides next - getting it to functional- 

coming next, doors and floors!!