Late last summer I decided that I wanted a simple sofa table to slip behind the couch. Something that would hold a couple of lamps, the freebie glass candlesticks that Secondborn found for me, etc. While it would be nice to have an elegant mahogany Queen Anne table, she would have felt déclassé amongst the hand-me-downs and thrift-shop finds. And her magnificence would have been hidden away between the couch and the wall.
So I made a little trip to the home-improvement store, and I bought six 2x2's and two planks and a dozen angle braces, at Brother Sushi's suggestion. He was also kind enough to loan me his drill. And he was even kinder to come over a couple of weeks later, when LittleBit and I had made little headway, and finish putting it all together. Based on the difficulty of inserting steel screws into wood, we decided that I had bought cypress posts. The planks are clear pine. Clear being a relative term.
The table spent fall, winter, and six weeks of spring upside-down on my dining room table. I saw it several times a day, felt mildly guilty, did nothing. But I have company coming in two weeks, a penpal who is coming to Texas a few days ahead of the rest of her tribe for a child's wedding. She is spending the weekend with us, and while I suspect our Saturday will be one mad round of sightseeing and shopping, on Sunday things will slow down to a more heavenly pace, and I want the option of sitting around the table like civilized human beings.
Wednesday night we had another of our "if it's six o'clock, it must be time for rain, hail, and wind" storms. LittleBit's church activity was cancelled. She called me, "I'm safe. Church is cancelled tonight."
"*Where* are you safe?"
"[Ex-boyfriend's] house. I'm hanging out with his little sister, and we're rehearsing our dance for Show Choir tryouts."
I knew he would get her home once the storm passed, so I broke out the sandpaper, and I got to work. Did you know that sanding counts as an aerobic activity? I really worked up a sweat. The legs were long-since sanded. I got the bottom of both shelves sanded and most of the edges. Thursday morning I flipped the table 180° and sanded the bottom shelf and puttied a couple of spots on the top shelf with stainable wood filler. Another aerobic activity. How thankful I am for shampoo and potions so that I can go to work looking and smelling like a sedate matron [yeah, like anybody who knows me is going to believe *that*!] instead of a middle-aged carpenter.
Yesterday morning I finished sanding before seminary. The plan was to come home, grab a bite to eat, and stain the table. But work was incredibly busy; we had one lawsuit where the answer was past-due and another where the answer is due next Monday, and the data clerk was out on vacation. So there I was, answering phones, opening and stamping the mail so the scanner could do her job, pulling faxes, entering lawsuits, and doing the conflict checks.
The drive home seemed shorter than usual, but I was so tired that I couldn't decide where I wanted to eat. So I just came home and made a tunafish sandwich and washed it down with a mug of milk. Repeated about an hour later. Then LittleBit came home from eating dinner with one of her friends, and we had prayers, and I went to bed a little after 8:00.
This morning I woke up a little after 3:30 [seven and a half hours of sleep, can you believe it?] and spent ten minutes wrangling the drop cloth into workable condition and getting my rags ready. I've stained several pieces of furniture in the past three decades, but this is the first time that I've used a pre-stain treatment. I have the tops of both shelves done, and the edges, and it's time to turn the table over and treat the other side.
Here's a detail of the wood grain:
Tomorrow: shots of the sure-hope-it's-finished table.
- Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!