Monday, July 23, 2012

My Art Room is Done!

I finally finished my art room. The only thing left is the flooring. We'll install cork tiles and baseboard trim when we do the rest of the basement. As I was setting it up it reminded me of when I was around 10 years old and I was obsessed with playing school with my sisters. I was determined to set up an entire classroom in my parents dank, moldy cellar. I brought down staplers, reams of paper, a broken telephone, chalkboard, and old school books. We'd take turns being teacher until someone would quit and we'd all scramble like hell out of there. No one wanted to be the last one left in that scary basement. We'd return down there a few days later to find all the supplies warped and moist from the moldy air. Pens stopped working and everything was musty. We were out of business and our classroom was eventually abandoned. Home Depot is delivering a huge dehumidifier this week and hopefully that will save my supplies and keep the moisture at bay. Until then, I managed to entice the kids down to test it out. They loved the space, made a mess, and split. Later this evening, I'm going to geek out, pour myself a glass of wine and use the space to finish Petra's baby book- until I get spooked out and run upstairs.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Next Project

Looking for some upholstery fabric in orange for the dining chairs. If you've ever attempted this- let me know any helpful hints. Looks like you just unscrew the seat, pull off the old and get to work with the new. I have my staple gun ready and I'll replace the ancient layer of batting. As far as the fabric- I have to order online. Can't seem to find stores that carry many solids. Will Scotch Guard for sure. Judging from how disgusting the current tan fabric became within months of my kid's spills- it's worth the extra step. I'll post some finished photos. Here's the nasty 'before':

Monday, July 9, 2012

Where is Everybody?

Photo: "Empty Backyard" Darien, CT
My dear friend, Denise moved from NYC to VA a few years ago. I imagined her meeting all sorts of fun suburban moms on the playgrounds or walking past their yards say hello to neighbors playing outside. I was wrong. She told me she is often the only one at the playground as her sons wander around in shock coming from the loud, crowded jungle-gyms in the city. Meeting mom friends or new friends for her kids would take some digging around. 

For years I wanted a country setting for my kids to run around in, play with kids down the block and explore the outdoors. We're finally here. Surrounded by woods- not too deep - but just right for exploring. My kids do play outside. I kick them out constantly and they don't complain. Every so often Beckett asks if he can come in, take a break and watch a show. No prob.

Here's the thing- there aren't really any other kids that play outside. All of the houses around us within a three street radius have loads of kids ranging in ages up to high school- but we never see them. As I drive around and peek into the beautifully manicured lawns of Darien and New Canaan, there is not one person in sight. It's spooky. It doesn't matter what time of day it is or season. No one is ever outside. Today just made me sad. I drove through New Canaan today. It was 6:00PM, well after day camps were let out. People should be arriving home from work, it was sunny & not too hot. Backyard jungle gyms, gardens, and pools were completely vacant. The mass amounts of money spent on landscaping and outdoor kitchens with deluxe gas grills seems so wasted. I'm assuming many kids are inside playing video games, but is that really it? I'd love to knock on the door of a house with a killer jungle gym and ask when the last time the kids used it. No kids OR adults to be found. Doesn't anyone ever pick up a hose and I don't know- spray the driveway?
The best memories of my childhood were in my backyard, all the neighborhood kids over, on their bikes, on our swing set, in our kiddie pool, chasing our dogs, drinking kool aid, making mud pies, catching fire flies, jumping rope, hiding and seeking. Grandma & Grandpa would always set up the lawn chairs and watch the chaos, mom would set up the radio on the back patio blast some Rod Stewart and start us dancing and Dad would eventually throw burgers on the grill....and nailed to the tree in the corner of our front yard where all the cars passed by was a bright yellow sign that said: