Welcome to North Pole, Alaska!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

We did it!

It has been such a great break (over seven days for me!) and I hate to see it end...but such is life. Andrew and I are particularly proud of ourselves for tackling our first woodworking project...a sawhorse table. It was a success (for the most part)! Andrew had off on Friday so it was the perfect day to shop for our lumber (what I have resorted to shopping for since there are NO clothing stores!) and pick up a few tools. Although tools are a bit pricey, we searched for the best deals, used a coupon or two, and crossed our fingers that we would get some use out of the buggers for the next twenty years! Total cost of lumber...about $79 bucks...not too bad for what we made (considering a sawhorse table at West Elm is about $500!). With three bedrooms upstairs, two are pretty bare. I wanted a table where I could put my arts and crafts projects, and just STUFF in general, so it would no longer be scattered around our kitchen table and island. I thought a sawhorse table would be perfect for that and it we could fit it in a guest room!

So, after HOURS of tool assemblage on Friday, it soon became Saturday. On Saturday morning we were up at the crack of dawn (7:30 for us in Alaska) and out in the garage measuring, cutting, and learning the do-s and don't-s of tools, wood, and the roles taht we would each play in creating our first project. I was the official "check-the-measure" girl and "double-check-the-measure" girl. I liked to refer to myself as Heidi from Tool Time with Tim Allen (remember that family favorite). I pranced around with a hammer in hand (not that we even used a hammer) and delivered tools to Andrew with a drunken-smile and giggly laugh. It was oh-so-fun for the first five minutes and then I realized we were working with some very loud, scary, and powerful machines and I needed to PAY ATTENTION and STOP GOOFIN' AROUND. So, for the next three hours, we worked together to build a beautiful and sturdy (although not quite perfectly aligned) sawhorse table. We only had to run out once to the local hardware store to get longer screws ("...NOT Nails" as Andrew reminded me about ten times that day). For some reason, I constantly referred to the screws as nails, eh, minor term in the scheme of things. Andrew handled the tools well and had the patience to teach me a few things. He was the cutest woodworker I've ever seen ;-)

We live in the middle townhouse of a row of four. It is also -10 degrees out (not fun) and therefore, we work indoors, inside of our heated garage (only in Alaska are the garages heated). We waited until 9:00 to actually start the cutting as a measure of politeness to our neighbors on both sides. It's not like our neighbors ever make any noise...

After the construction of the table was completed, Andrew and I admired the beauty, ran a few errands, admired the beauty again, ate a small dinner, admired her again, headed to our friend's Saint Patrick's party, and called it a day! I even made mini chocolate cupcakes with green frosting, and everything at the party (even the beer) was green! It was a fun evening with a great group of people. We even played the largest group game ever of Catch Phrase (H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S).

Sunday brought us a day of doing a bunch of odds and ends. I tackled the job of sanding, painting, and staining our table. I had a tough time waiting for each coat of paint or stain to dry but nonetheless I knew it would be worth it in the end. Andrew worked on a few computer things and eventually set us up on a server that links all three of our computers (which all have different operating systems). It was a time-consuming task and difficult to sync the three systems but he found a way. I found ways to disturb his geeky moments by calling him into the garage to look at the latest streak of stain I put on the tabletop, or to admire the way I brushed the polyurethane on the sawhorse leg, or to give me advice about getting stain off my hands. He then laughed at me and pointed to the bag of rubber gloves. Whoops, I had forgotten about those things and my fingers and palms of my hands were the color of dark mahogany...YES! Luckily, I did take off my rings, or else that would have been a disaster. I also attempted to wash out the stain-ridden paintbrush in our pretty white ceramic bathtub. That was mistake number two. Thirty minutes later, an empty box of baking soda, an almost-empty can of OxiClean, and almost bleeding fingertips, and our tub was smiling pretty. I've learned my lessons. Gloves and brush washing in stainless steel areas only.

It is going to be a wonderful week! My mom arrives on Wednesday, just in time for my birthday, and at a good time to make it to our favorite Chinese restaurant for dinner. We cannot wait to see Kim in Alaska! Happy Monday everyone!

BEAUTIFUL and what's even better, WE MADE IT!
Made in U.S.A. :-)

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