Near-record-setting temps for a January day in Minnesota forces us outside into the slush. Slush can only be good for one thing...a very heavy snowman!
At some point involving all four members of our household (plus one curious dog), we managed to erect a 6+' dude of snow. My littlest man is thrilled, and hopefully the sun will stay away long enough for a couple days worth of enjoyment!
Since I'm so often a purger rather than a saver, sometimes I talk myself out of things to "have just because they're beautiful." For Christmas this last year, Jahred indulged me with something to have for just that very reason and it's even more so enjoyable coming from him (a man of few gifts...no insult intended...I really prefer it this way).
After an art show in December, I came home excited about a guitar I saw there. A real instrument, hand-crafted, but something I would honestly never learn to play well. Constructed from upcycled cigar boxes and of very simply construction, I was dreaming of such a piece as a photo prop or as home-dec.
Jahred sought out a guitar (from a local Minnesota artist) and chose the one he thought I would love. Today I created a guitar strap, in a previously undiscovered fabric to photo with my never-before-pictured, new, frivolous guitar.
The guitar artist is Soup Hunter Guitars. Don't judge an instrument by it's website, but here's how you can get a hold of them.
Am I a terrible person to think, "I want my kid to stop coughing so I can finally fall asleep?" Of course I would like him to stop coughing for his own benefit too, but seeing as how I am one crabby mother without sleep, I think we both benefit from a bit of silent shut-eye.
Last night in a last ditch effort to avoid two consecutive nights of coughing/seal barking, I scavenged the internet for ways to relieve Axel's hacking without the use of drugs.
After a brief Google search, it seemed that I uncovered something major when every hit had the word "Vicks" somewhere in the title.
I clicked on the one that included "toddler."
So maybe this is new to only me, but the research was claiming that if you apply Vicks Vapor Rub to the bottom of your kids feet and then put their socks back on, the coughing will cease within minutes.
One site promises this method to be a 100% cure, one site said it works for both kids and adults, and nearly all of them used the magic time-frame of 5 minutes to get results. They sold me at 5 minutes.
I broke into his room, roused him from his coughy-sleep and lathered his feet. He didn't seem to mind, in fact I think that part was a bit soothing. One more kiss and I was off to my own bed...again. I watched the clock for 5 minutes to pass and got caught up in my book. Looking at the clock again, I realized it had been about 15 minutes and I couldn't remember the last time he coughed. He had been coughing almost continuously, if not every few seconds before the Vicks.
Whether it's voodoo magic or simply science, we woke up this morning at 7am. A full 10 hours with very occasional coughing.
Try it...buy it...you decide. I'm sold, and will happily rate it's success, not at the 100% (claimed by internet), but at a very peaceful 85%.
So here she is – the partial canoe rescued from certain death by fire. As she presently hangs from the ceiling above me, I have to point out through the details that things weren't always this pretty.
The exterior color is original and every rock she skipped over has left evidence of itself in scratches. To the exterior we did nothing but clean, wax and buff.
I gave her a name. Doing a bit of research I pulled up the names of every shipwreck in the Great Lakes. The smallest vessel to remain underwater is an 8' boat named the "Penelope." Assuming this canoe wasn't much longer than the original Penelope, I adopted her namesake and painted it on the side of our treasure.
While the wood of the seat and handle are original, their luster is not. After a brief sanding we gave them two coats of clear varnish to bring out their age and natural beauty. The brass hardware is new, the black edging is the same webbing I make my guitar straps out of (plus a tube of E6000 adhesive), and the interior of the boat has been spray-painted gold.
Needless to say, I am totally in love with canoe restoration. Maybe this will inspire you to look deeper into the banks of your nearest river and dig out a piece of condemned history yourself.
PS - If this was your boat: Finders Keepers! (Or pay the escalated price of one-million-dollars.)
The new view from my front door. Also notice the black railing and bit of blue painters tape...an updated photo of our custom staircase to come.
"Your ceiling is your fifth wall." I remember reading that in a magazine once.
Last weekend I remember telling Jahred, "I hate this vaulted ceiling. It's dead. I need to hang something from it, like...a canoe."
Jahred - "I saw a canoe. In the county park the other day. Well, only half a canoe. It was in the burn pile."
Me - "And you're just now telling me this? Axel, get in the car!!"
We pulled up to a grim sight – a canoe so ugly only a vaulted-ceiling-hater could love it. We crammed it into the van and took it home.
While the details I will photograph in the natural light of day, here is a preview of where that broken vessel ended up.
If you haven't spent the last few decades in Minnesota, you wouldn't understand the significance of the following, "54 degrees on January 5th."
Axel and I knew the magnitude of yesterdays forecast and immediately took to the parks. Because our favorite playground is closed due to the inclement weather of our typical winters, we parked outside the chains and high-tailed it inside for a private winter oasis.
The sky was a lovely shade of spring, the faux-grass was evergreen, and our jackets were unzipped. What a ball we had!
Will we pay for this untimely weather, say in a few months? Will April snow-showers delay May flowers? Who knows. For now we'll air out the house mid-winter and keep our fingers crossed for more of the same.
While the rest of the week is predicted to bring similar meteorological beauty, we may just be sneaking into a park near you!
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