December 6, 2017:


It's COLD here. Cold and windy. But the Sun has been out for the past 2 days so it's bright, and that helps me to bear the cold and the short days. Only 15 more days to Winter Solstice, and then each day, a few more minutes of daylight will magically begin to be added, and even though the cold and snow will continue, the "worst" will be over because I know we are over the hump and headed toward the Spring Equinox.

Meanwhile, I am busy decorating the tree. I dug out an old collage of photos from the former Maison Newton (above). Gosh, that was a beautiful fireplace. My current gel fuel fireplace is great, but no match for that large and lush gas fireplace in my former home. In my case, downsizing meant not only much less square footage and a single story (which IS nice), but no fireplace until I purchased my gel fuel fireplace. I love it, but there was only one wall I could put it on, and this current living room is much smaller than my former living room, so I sized the fireplace accordingly. (It was also much less expensive and did not need to be installed by professionals).

Yesterday I womaned up and muscled, huffed, puffed, cussed some, breathed heavily and heaved mightily to get my Christmas tree up the basement stairs and dragged into the living room, and then into position in front of the picture window overlooking the front of the house. Whew! Quite the work-out. But I wasn't ready this year to switch to a "single woman of a certain age" (4 foot tall) tree. Maybe next year...NAH!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

My Adventures in Putting Together a Four Piece Desk

Hola darlings!

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."

1 comment:

  1. Jan,

    I am usually the one who puts everything together as Joe does not believe in instructions and does not do well following them! LOL!!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!!