The Perfect Desk

I have wanted a desk for several years now. I had a desk when I was teenager, and used it for very important tasks like writing journal entries, but I didn’t have the opportunity to use a desk to it’s full potential at the time. (I guess that depends on how you look at it though–my largest desk drawer was full of Agatha Christie novels.)

In the apartment all of my ‘desk stuff’ like the expandable file folder and bills to be paid got stored on one shelf of a bookshelf, and it all inevitably jumbled not that long after every time I organized it. Now that we have a house, we have room for Colton and I to have side by side desks in the dining room.

As I began browsing used furniture I quickly discovered that I have expensive taste in desks. My favorites were always the roll top desks, with the appeal of being able to stop in the middle of paying bills or balancing the checkbook, but instantly hide the mess. Since the roll tops generally sold for around $300, I started trying to convince myself that I should stick with looking for the true non-negotiables, like drawers for storing all my desk stuff inside of.

I started checking Craigslist frequently, and talking myself down to a reasonable desk, until one day I saw that roll top desk had just been posted for $50. It had only been posted a few hours before, and I promptly claimed the first chance to go inspect it. (After checking with Colton if he thought it was worth driving 30 minutes to look at the desk. He said no desk was worth driving to P—- for, but then gave his serious answer that it looked like a good deal.)

I began conferring with the seller about the details of coming to see it. Was it very heavy? Oh, yes, it was so very heavy, and they didn’t actually live where the desk was, so we had to come look at it during the day, and her husband had just had surgery so he wouldn’t be able to help with the lifting. Since Colton doesn’t have a lot of spare time off this  year, I fell back on the plan of drafting nephews to carry the desk… until I got an e-mail that someone had agreed to buy the desk without having seen it.

My desk…

A few days later I heard that the buyer never completed arrangements to come pick up the desk, so I was back to having first chance to come look at it. Yay!

I drafted one nephew to come along, having remembered in the meantime that the other nephew I had intended to draft now has gainful employment which keeps him too busy during daytime hours to come move desks for me. (That pesky getting-older-and-getting-jobs thing…) Then I mildly agonized for a while about whether the heaviness of the desk was exaggerated and whether between me and my nephew Peter and my sister Merrianna if we would be able to load the desk into the car.

The first part of the adventure happened when we discovered that my phone (the only smart phone in the car, and our only source of directions to the location of the desk) was about to die and we didn’t have a charger. Peter copied down the directions into the sketchbook he’d brought along and then Merrianna continued navigating from the almost dead phone. I missed a turn (it was the shortest ‘100 yards’ in the  history of directions, is all I have to say), and began following the rerouted directions when the phone died.

Peter and Merrianna had much conferring about the remembered parts of directions compared to what was written on the sketchbook, and we somehow arrived at our destination with a deal of confusion, but without ever actually having to turn around.

This is when part 2 of our adventure started. We were greeted by a very sweet lady, with whom I’d been communicating, and her brother (not her husband, and presumably, not having just had surgery). I checked the desk, and despite a bit of sticking in the roll top part of the desk, quickly decided that I would take the desk.

The sellers, however, were very concerned about whether the large desk would fit inside our mini-van. They carefully measured many dimensions of both the desk and the inside of the mini-van, and then carefully re-measured when they couldn’t remember the original measurements.

I had been pretty sure from the beginning that the desk would fit, and the measurements sounded like a good match even without remembering the exact numbers in every case. In addition to this, I had picked up one end of the desk as I examined it.

It wasn’t that heavy at all.

We could have easily just picked up the desk, walked it out the mini-van to see if it would fit, and taken it back inside if it didn’t.

Instead, I just tried to direct events in the direction of more action and less measuring. “Yep, that looks like it should fit… Uh huh… Hmm… Okay, let’s give it a try… Yes, on its back… It really seems like that should work… I think we should go ahead and try it.”

Peter and the brother carried the desk to the mini-van while Merrianna and I watched and the very sweet lady gave me tips for what kind of furniture polish to buy if my desk happened to get accidentally scratched on the way home. (I didn’t tell her that I would probably never even notice if the desk got scratched up…)

The desk fit perfectly into the back of the mini-van, with the minor inconvenience of having to be lifted over the metal U-hooks that protrude from the sides of the back hatch. Merrianna and I even got to assist briefly by holding corners of the desk as it was flipped on its back.

We climbed back into the car, slightly exhausted from the social effort of buying a desk from such nice people, and Peter began to reverse the directions so that we could escape the tiny neighborhood in which we were cornered. Despite the fact that the desk turned out to not be heavy at all, it turned out the Peter was essential to the escapade, as he was the keeper of the directions (and the owner of pencil and paper).

And that is the story of how I am sitting and typing this blog post at a lovely, ever so slightly scratched roll top desk (which only sticks a little when you try to put down the roll top lid).

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Curtains

On this crisp almost winter morning, I thought perhaps I’d throw back the curtains, let what light there was come streaming into the house, and enjoy the cusp of the new season. On opening the blinds I discovered that not only was this cusp of winter the usual drab snowless transition one might expect, but some bird had a case of diarrhea so intense as to manage to hit my window through the screen.

You know what’s really lovely this time of year? Curtains. Curtains are a great look. I think I’ll stick with those.

Daily Thanks #22: That My Husband Is Not Overly Particular

Okay, so everyone who knows Colton is going to roll their eyes at this one, but I know better. He’s an organized person and a tidy person, but if he were particular he would be freaking out about me several times a day.

Instead, when I serve hot dog buns with hamburgers because I burned the last roll in the house trying to toast it and all our loaves of bread were frozen, he shrugs his shoulders and moves on.

This is a very good thing (because that sort of thing happens rather often around here).

Daily Thanks #8 & #9: Family and More Family

While I know plenty of people who have generic ‘weirdness’ the genetic relationship to specific strains of weirdness is often strong. This is especially noticeable with sisters at times. Who else would know exactly what I mean, with no explanation needed, when I say, “He is Irish after all” but go back and forth for ten minutes with me on the deep complexities existent in the subject of raisins?

And who else but my family would spontaneously start a room sized game of cat’s cradle with each finger being represented by a person? (“For the duration of this game, you are a thumb.”)

But not only do I get my genetic specific weird family, I married into a whole other set of family. I get extra grandparents, extra family stories (even though I wasn’t there for the beginnings of them), extra family code language to learn, and even sometimes extra weirdness.

The only thing better than having family is having even more family. 🙂

How My Day Went

It’s hard to stick to my plan to post more often when my real life updates are starting to all sound the same: I went for a run this morning, even though I was tired; I had no energy left after that, so besides almost catching up on dishes and warming up leftovers, all I got done today was a long nap.

I think I’m going to make up a more interesting sounding day instead.

Today I fought off space dragons in the asteroid belt. The pesky things kept trying to scatter and hide but I picked them all off with the help of my heat seeking plasma photon pistol (which I’m sure I purchased on sale with a coupon). Since, as everyone knows, space dragon meat is too tough to eat, I just skinned them to turn their hides into hats. Some people spray paint their space dragon hats in camouflage colors to play up the armored aspects of the hat, but I prefer to just add a beaded edge because it makes a much prettier armored hat that way.

Isn’t the more fun to read about than the day I actually had?

 

This Space Intentionally Left Blank

I’m not writing a blog post today. I don’t have time.

It’s been a productive week so far, in a solidly on routine sort of way. Daily blog posts, daily running, making salsa before the tomatoes went bad, and that sort of thing.

I got caught up on dishes this week, and have been able to use the time normally allocated for ‘frantically working on the back log of dishes’ for such exciting things as dusting and wiping under things on my kitchen counters.

Sometimes when I get caught up dishes I blow it by thinking this means I can plan an extravagant baking day, because spending more time on baking than I would on dishes plus creating tons of extra dishes somehow comes out even at that point, right?

So, it’s Friday, there’s flour soaking for pizza dough this evening, leftovers are heating up in the oven for lunch, I washed all the morning dishes (instead of leaving them with the excuse that there weren’t that many, so how bad could it get?), and have done all the Sunday preparations I can do ahead of time.

This afternoon will be taken up by important hanging out with Moriah time, and I have already warned Colton that it’s the sort of day where dinner will almost undoubtedly be late despite my best efforts. Trying to fit a blog post in there would be recipe for disaster of proportions similar to scheduling a baking day without leaving time for extra dish washing.

But, since I still had fifteen minutes before it was time to eat lunch, it seemed like a good time to warn you all: Don’t expect a blog post from me today. I won’t be writing one. I don’t have time.

My Kitchen Aid is Not Yet Dead

This morning I was contemplating how pleased I am with my KitchenAid mixer.  It’s a Professional 600 model, heavy duty and very handy. I was pleased with myself for thinking ahead enough to purchase this particular mixer for my hope chest instead of dinky two person sized mixer. Having in my possession a mixer capable of kneading four loaves worth of whole wheat bread dough at once, I thought, makes me a more efficient person.

That was about when I discovered that an overheating KitchenAid mixer smells like flowers. Seriously, I was standing right in front of my mixer trying to figure out where that sweet jasminey lavenderish smell was coming from. I began to take the hint when the mixer stopped dead.

I was in the middle of making this super awesome 100% whole wheat bread. The first time I made it, I only made half a batch, being skeptical that it would truly be that amazing. (I did make a few small adjustments of my own, mostly adding the ginger to my yeast proofing mixture ala Rose Lane Farms bread cookbook.)

Colton liked it.

Yep, 100% whole wheat bread that was soft and breadlike enough that Colton *liked* it. I was sold. This time I went for it whole hog, making a full batch and trying a couple of the add ins. I suspect that was where things began to go wrong.

As per usual, I made a small, really hardly worth mentioning change to the recipe. I substituted chia seeds for flax seeds.

As you may be aware, chia seeds are the darling of weird healthy people. They have Omega 3s or maybe 6s (I can never keep those two straight in my head) and they absorb toxins from your system which then pass harmlessly through your gut encased  with lots of lovely fiber. They also absorb a lot of water. More than flax seed does. FYI.

I didn’t realize this error until after several attempts to get my Kitchen Aid to work again by such methods as letting it cool off and splitting the dough in half to make it easier to knead. By the time I tried adding water I was concerned that my Kitchen Aid was never going to permanently recover.

It’s amazing what 1/4 cup of water does for the health of a Kitchen Aid. Um, not on the Kitchen Aid though. That wouldn’t help. It’s much better if you put it in the bowl to thin down the dough.

After rescue efforts had been made, the dough eventually turned into bread that’s just as soft and breadlike as last time. (I think I’d leave out the millet next time though. I really don’t feel the need to add tiny crunchy grains to my bread.) And my Kitchen Aid isn’t dead.

I’m still very pleased with my Kitchen Aid. It’s a good machine and handy to have around. But next time I try to knead four loaves worth of whole wheat bread dough at one time I’m going to watch it carefully for any signs of distress.

And I think if I want to keep that title of thinking ahead I should apply it to my life more consistently.