Closet Transformation

Becoming more and more confident and comfortable with carpentry and building made us feel ready for a pretty big project; our master closet.  We started with a smaller guest room closet.  Made mistakes, learned from them and made more.  I used an online closet designing company to help plan the spacing, measurements, and where to use hanging vs shelving.  A very useful tool.  Watched a lot of youtube and searching online for images of built-in closet design and style.  One video, had a gentleman working only on the weekends, as we would be, doing a very elaborate and professional job for an “enthusiast/non-pro”.  Took him several months which gave me a greater appreciation of how long this could take.  We also started in the beginning of warm weather [April] and did not always want to be stuck indoors.  It took us about five months, working nowhere near every weekend but putting in some long hours.  We allocated $650 which we ended up going over but stayed under $1k.  The online closet design site also priced out what you put together and the basic bones for what we used as our design for them to build (and install?) was about $2k.  I am quite happy about with what we spent, not to mention the value added to our house.

We ripped out the wire shelving, pulled up the carpet, laid down a floating, hardwood, bamboo flooring, installed built-in material, caulked and painted, replaced light fixture with a chandelier, measured and fastened the hardware/hanging rods, brought all our clothes in and now enjoying with a few finishing touches to go.

Thank you and congratulations to my wonderful wife and tool girl Heather!  Before we even lived together we put together our grill, the very first project.  had no idea it would lead us to what we have been through and what we just accomplished.  wow!

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God Parents

We got a call a while back from my sister, catching up on what was new with each other.  I remember her talking over her shoulder in a muffled voice, “should we ask them now?”, Lou said.  My thoughts ran wild and quick, “what is my sister talking about”.  The mystery revealed itself when they came back over the phone and asked us to be God parents to their newest baby girl, Scarlett Antonia.  This makes the second time my youngest sister and Dave have honored me significantly when it comes to her own family, one honor with each of their gorgeous babies.  Her oldest was given my name as her middle name; Fiona Ryan.  Love it, love them, love my sister…

We made it back home for the ceremony, took a long weekend and  had a great visit.  The new house was complete, the weather was agreeable and family and friends gathered around.

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kids rule your world

Some friends visited recently.  They have some pretty cute kids so I broke out the camera during the evening.  Though, not pictured here our four legged child is very ready to be and no doubt make an excellent baby sitter.  Ellie Jane just LOVES babies.  She cuddled up to the youngest one who was just laying on the couch.  Ellie wants to get as close as possible to lick and nibble his hands and face…

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Tennessee Winters

Been out taking pictures because of sites we do not typically see.  We had some snow and currently are under and few inches of ice.  Finally able to make it back to work just today.  Of course schools are closed, they close down with the first hint of a single snowflake, but businesses, airlines, mass transit all have closed.  It was nice to be back but enjoyed the literal quiet time.  The image of the tree, which has become a familiar backdrop to many I take in our backyard.  Snow and ice can be so beautiful and calming but so deadly too.  Be careful out there America.

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Presenting Pigs

Last year an idea come to me about making a present for my mom.  There is this pig cutting board we grew up using which evidently holds a special place in my moms heart because of who made it.    I do not recall what it was that brought this idea to me but a while later my parents were in town for a visit which led us to a well know eatery where they also have trinkets and gifts.  Mom found a couple of pig boards but they were not ideal and also not for sale.  This, further cementing in my mind I was meant to make one.  Ive been getting a little handier around the house, started with a few tools with the first house and now I build tables and built in closet systems.  I felt confident in undertaking the task.  Found a sketch of a pig, bought some tools…primarily the jig saw and last was to find the perfect wood.  I knew it would be a stretch locating it at my toy store – home depot.  After an exhaustive search around town I almost gave up…but no, not an option.  Online i went and found this great and funny company (another story).   I ended up with the perfect piece of maple I deemed necessary for my project.

It was a success and that was evident by the reaction I got of receiving the pig this week.

 

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Christmas Cabin

It always happens, without fail, Christmas comes and goes all too fast for my liking.  Its special, makes me feel young, thankful and child-like.  Love being around family, miss not being around my own and treasure time with my wife’s side.  We usually get together after the day itself, this year we rented a cabin on a Kentucky lake.  We enjoy making memories and I love to capture them, as you well know.  We played games, lived in PJs, watched football, went for walks, tracked through mud, watched movies, exchanged presents, made great meals, sipped coffee and enjoyed the long weekend together.   The only thing missing was the, well lake, and a ping pong table (in my view).  Yeah, couldn’t believe it, the lake/river was dammed up and so we were left with “mud flats”.  Not to worry we made it work, no complaints from the dogs.

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the 4th

“we had the date marked on our calendar forever”… as Dierks sings.

The anticipation of the countdown to our tropical island getaway was something, being there was something else.  It was real, it was happening, we are here but it doesn’t feel real, this is a dream, wait no its real and then its over.  Isla Mujeres, Mexico – a small island (only 5 miles in length) 30 minutes off the coast of Cancun.  Recommended by friends we had been planning and packing and planning for months.  We arrived and were blown away.  Our honeymoon was fantastic, a different, non-tropical getaway to downtown Charleston, SC…so this was our first tropical vacation together.   It was a dream come true, the best experience.

Our hotel was amazing, www.privilegehotels.com The room was top notch, a small townhouse.  Service, the best.  Drinks never stopped flowing.  Food was acceptable, maybe the only downside to the all inclusive.  We did the snobby, foodie aspect in Charleston!  Sun, sand and tequila this go around.

Wish I took my camera out more.  We purchased an underwater case for the iphone, which we used ALL the time so my canon took the back seat this trip…wont forget next time.

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Ice Cold

With the temperatures dropping and hovering in the single digits, large quantities of water have sufficient time to freeze.  This rain barrel running off one of our downspouts got knocked over and I discovered the largest ice cube Ive seen in a while.  The cylindrical shaped frozen water was pretty, the sun sparkling through the millions of bubbles and sharp edges.  I got the camera and watched ice melt for a little while…

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Lillian

Thanks for letting us all come to your birthday party young lady!  Happy 1st Birthday…

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Leslie

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I always told Leslie’s mom that I had “dibbs” on doing her eldest younger daughter’s senior photos.  This was just for fun and fun was what we had.  A nice close to another elation filled weekend.  Leslie is an amazing young lady.  Smart, beautiful, funny, witty, and lover of animals!  Whether she becomes a model or a veterinarian will be a flip of the coin…