It is a beautiful day here today and I need to stretch my legs and hike down to the Pick 'n Save and pick up some wine and fabric softener. I'm going to use the fabric softener to attack the wallpaper in the family room later this afternoon. But first -- I want to write about my adventures yesterday putting my new desk together.
The box the desk came in was huge! As you can see, I used state-of-the-art box-opening tools to get through the cardboard -- although to tell the truth when I tugged the thing into the house from the front stoop earlier in the week a lot of the cardboard had already torn off right in my hands. Geez!
So, here you see a pretty picture of my new desk!
As you can see, it is a writing desk :) I don't believe I mentioned its dimensions yesterday when I as going on and on about it. It's not a large desk -- only 20" deep but I'll have width on either side of my laptop to spread out paperwork and books when I'm researching.
This desk was well packed and it came through with no damaged ends or corners. As you can see, there was a LOT of styrofoam packing material around it, and little bits and pieces of it got everywhere! What a mess!
Yep -- only four pieces, thank Goddess! The desk top and drawer had come shipped put together, but I took the drawer out of the desk top before I flipped her over on her back and attached the sides and crossbar, so I only had to put four pieces together. Lots of bolts and nuts and washers and one of those little Allen wrenches -- I HATE those suckers. Before I started putting the pieces together, I vacuumed all of the styrofoam bits and pieces off of the desk and carpet.
The directions were easy to follow, and the pieces were all labeled. The nuts, bolts and washers, etc. all came in little plastic bags that could be resealed shut and they were also all labeled. So instructions were like "take bolt G and add spring washer E and flat washer I to it" with a little (very little) diagram of how it was supposed to go together. And so, I put the desk together!
Almost done... The hardest part that also took the longest was using that tiny Allen wrench to tighten the bolts. Tedious and not the most accessible bolts to tighten! My hands are not all that large and I was fumbling around, couldn't get the head of the wrench into the bolt properly to give it a twist, and I was not able to rotate the Allen wrench around 360 degrees, so I had to twist, take it out and reset it again and again until the bolt was sufficiently tightened. But eventually all the pieces were together and I was able to flip the desk to its feet!
But -- something was wrong...
Oh frigging no! The stablizing cross-bar at the bottom of the desk is supposed to be at the "front" of the desk, not on the drawer side where I will be sliding my chair underneath! What the hell? How on earth did that happen?
I looked at the directions and double-checked the stickers on the pieces -- I was supposed to insert side B on the right side of the desk. Check. Side A was installed on the left side of the desk. Check. Guess what -- THE DIRECTIONS WERE WRONG!
LOL! Yep, in this case meticulously following the directions led to the legs being installed on the wrong sides. Side B needed to go on the left of the desk, and Side A needed to go on the right side of the desk. That way, the holes for the bolts to hold the cross-bar in place ended up across the front bottom of the desk.
And so, I had to take the desk apart and put it together again. This time success:
Oh bloody damn! It's still wrong! The cross-bar was installed with the holes showing the little holes where the locking cams were set! Those holes should be facing toward the back of (drawer side) the desk. Look!
Hole, front and center! Damn damn damn damn damn!
But I wasn't about to loosen the bolts yet again, and slip out the cross-bar. I think I know how this happened - it has something to do with the little holes in which I had to insert two dowels... In any event, for now, the desk is staying as is! I didn't do it last night, but later today when I pull out my Old English furniture polish to give the desk a second going-over I will take a q-tip and color the inside of those holes, which right now are just raw wood. I hope this will make the holes less noticeable. The assembly kit did not come with little plugs to fill those holes, unfortunately.
There I'd been, patting myself on the back and thinking how great I was to be able to put that desk together in about 30 minutes (most of which was spent hand-tightening ten bolts with that nasty little Allen wrench), when the reviews I'd read online complained about it taking more than an hour and having to take the desk apart because of defective instructions or missing pieces, etc. etc. Ha ha ha! Well, I sure ended up eating a big helping of humble pie. But after three glasses of wine I was able to see the humor in the situation :)
I gave the desk a coat of Old English last night and she is looking so fine right now! The lines of my Chinese-style arm chair go well with the "campaign furniture" style of the desk, and the finishes are very similar colors. I'm so glad I bought this desk!
Now I just have to remove the rest of the wallpaper, repair the drywall where the wallpaper damaged the finish, sand some areas where I see excessive sand texture finish, prime everything, paint the woodwood, paint the upper walls, install the chair rail, install the textured paper on the bottom of the walls and paint it. Voila! I should be done in about another 3 years. Meanwhile, these walls give new meaning to the term "shabby chic."
December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan