A Morning With My Dad

I woke up early for some quiet time with God. It’s always calming and serene for me to take in His Word while the pre-dawn sun is making its way through the trees and the birds are gloriously announcing the arrival of the day with their chirps. My view from the patio of Jeff and Lindsey’s pool house is of Georgia pines, tall and majestic and waving ever so slightly in the morning breeze.

It was an inspiring morning, and after having spent time in prayer and reflection with my Heavenly Father, I decided to spend some time with my biological father. The time spent was metaphorical as I took to cleaning and organizing his old Craftsman toolbox. In it was a visual cacophony of wrenches. Open-ended, closed-ended, ratchet, in both inches and millimeters; the task of sorting all the hardware was not a simple one.

JohnnySocket1

But as I dove into the task, I found myself taking a trip back in time to when my dad attempted to apprentice me in all things do-it-yourself. Keep in mind my father was a good instructor. Unfortunately, he found in me a clumsy and uninterested student. Still, I remember playing the role of his assistant on many occasions. Passing my dad the right wrench. Having to run to the toolshed for a different screwdriver. Going into the house to refill my dad’s cup of water.

I wish I had paid closer attention to what my dad was trying to teach me. I’m moderately handy, but light years away from the handyman my father was. Still, this morning was not about my skillsets, past or present. This morning was about time with my dad. A time I will always have whenever I use one of the million wrenches he left me.

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Under Pressure

Under Pressure

Today was a workout day made possible by the DIY regiment. Primarily, I had to tackle some pressure washing in the lanai and front porch area. Who knew what a strain it would be on my shoulders and forearms having to hold the pressure washer nozzle above chest level for extended periods of time?

I am glad I got the projects knocked out. There are no more hints of green on my pool cage, and the dirt and cobwebs outside the front door are gone. The end result, like so many other things in life, was worth the sweat and effort put into the task. For me, once I get started with something, I have no problem finishing it. The problem, however, is with actually getting started.

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Hit the Floor

Hit the Floor

It turned out I was not as wiped out from yesterday’s ceiling fan install as I thought I would be, so I decided to tackle changing the flooring in my closet. I had leftover laminate from when I put down new flooring in Daniel’s room, and I decided to make the most of the materials at hand and replace the last bit of carpeting left in this house.

To say the carpet in my closet was nasty is an understatement. I know carpets can be comfortable, but given I am pretty sure this was the original carpeting from when this house what built in 1992, it was completely gross.

Before
YUCK!

Still, there is something liberating about ripping up and throwing out old carpeting. It comes apart rather easily (assuming, of course, you have a good box cutter or blade), and with the exception of removing the tack strips, taking out carpet is a fairly simple process.

During
The not-so-clean slate.

Laying down laminate is also pretty simple. The toughest part is making sure your cuts are correct. With this space bring mostly a rectangle, it was fairly easy. However, there were some corner cuts for the spaces at the entrance of the closet that required vertical and horizontal cuts. I lost about 30 minutes on one piece going back and forth, shaving off about 1/16 of an inch at a time, making sure I got it to fit just right while not cutting too much from either side.

In the end, I think it came out great. But just like yesterday’s fan, I am pretty bummed I will only get to enjoy it for a couple of weeks.

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Project Baffroom

This past 4th of July, Lee and I undertook a home improvement project. The mission: Completely renovate the main guest bathroom in our house. Thus, Project Baffroom was born.

First, some background is in order. We are very fortunate to live in a house with four bathrooms. There’s one in the master bedroom, one that is just outside my mother-in-law’s room (it would normally be the guest bathroom), one in my daughter’s room (she’s a teenager, so her bathroom is mostly off limits), and the one in the hall outside my son’s room and our home office. We affectionately refer to it as ‘The Baffroom‘, mostly since it’s the one I use when the kids aren’t here.

The urge to re-do the ‘Baffroom‘ came from me just being tired of the plain, boring, and kiddish looking bathroom. It was unequivocally unimpressive. And since I spent so much quality time in there anyway, I figured it should be a room I enjoy being in. So Lee and I circled the dates on our calendar, scheduled some time off from work, and took to it.

Below are a couple of pictures that document the transformation. I am very happy with the final result, and I am also surprised with how well it came out. I owe a world of thanks to my wife and mother-in-law for the sweat they poured into the project, to my good friend Leigh Stevens for his guidance and expertise whenever I got into a jam, and to all of you on Pinterest that helped with drops of inspiration here and there (specifically with what we did to replace the medicine cabinet).

This goes to show that if you can visualize it, you can do it. I am ‘somewhat’ handy, but by no means am I a handyman. Still, we stepped outside our comfort zone and tackled the project head on. I hope it serves as a reminder to Lee and myself that as we look at the many challenging goals we have in 2014, no matter how unsure we may feel now, we are more than capable of achieving them. We just need to be resolved to do so.

Project Baffroom
A plain kid’s bathroom with a surfer motif.
Project Baffroom
Nothing exciting about this bathroom.

 

Project Baffroom
I was terrified when I took out the flooring …..
Project Baffroom
… but I have to admit ripping out the sinkand cabinet was kinda’ fun.
Project Baffroom
New paint ….
Project Baffroom
…. new flooring ….
Project Baffroom
…. and new wainscoting.

 

Project Baffroom
Replaced the commode and added the little touches to bring the room altogether.
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I love the modern vanity and the ‘manly’ faucet I got to go with it.
Project Baffroom
But what really makes the room is the wonderful tiled alcove Lee made where the medicine cabinet used to be.