Wine Crate Bookshelf

by Nick on Nov 12, 2009

First and foremost, I would like to apologize to the employees of Costco. I am sorry for precariously stacking 18 bottles of wine every time I visit your store. I know this makes your job more difficult, and I appreciate your patience with me. Unfortunately, the benefits for me are just to great to stop this habit.

In the gigantic alcohol section there are some expensive wines which are shipped in wooden crates. The crates are no more functional for shipping wine then their cardboard counterparts. However they provide a useful sized box for all sorts of projects. You may have noticed in my last post that they were being used as saw horses. Other crates are holding files, tools, CDs and DVDs, and most recently books. I used four boxes and some scraps of wood to make the bookshelf that you see above sitting at the end of our hall. We like the way it looks, and all it cost were the screws, some time, and the guilt of having irritated Costco employees weekly.


Nothing our grandparents didn't do...or our parents!

by Nick on Nov 11, 2009

For the last few days Claire and I have been working on building a clothesline. We had some help from Claire's parents selecting the materials last weekend. Instead of setting the posts into cement, we used metal post footings to secure the post into the ground. I had never used metal post footings before, and if I was to do it all over again, I would not have. It ended up being a little wobbly, so I added the supports going into the ground at 45 degree angles. While digging, about a foot into the soil, I found a yellow marble; a clue of someone's childhood past.

While having a clothesline is a little out of the norm, we found ourselves thinking that the majority of the projects we are planning to do at The General, are not "new" and "green". Instead, they are remnants of frugality and practicality which are no longer main stream.

Wet Dog in a Field of Passion Fruit

by Claire on Nov 10, 2009

We have been distracted lately.

After the dust from moving had settled a bit, Nick and I discovered that our house has a smell. And not a good smell. It's somewhere between 50-year-old-paint-in-a-vacant-house and dead rodent. On Tuesday, we caved in and bought a Glade Plug-in. We had never tried one before and spent a good 20 minutes in the isle of our grocery store scratching and sniffing the various boxes. Finally we chose Passion Fruit (or was it mixed fruit? Well, something fruity.) after determining that Fresh Air was far too mild. The device is really quite advanced. It has scent intensity levels. We set it to level five and now can't decide which we like better: intense fruit or mild rodent.

On Saturday, my parents drove up for a visit and gave us an oriental rug that used to be Grandmary's. It's a pretty rug, but it reeks of oldness and smoke. We spent Saturday morning hosing it down and scrubbing it before rinsing it about 94 more times. (It's wool, and it retains moisture and soap beautifully. Also the smell of nicotine.) Finally, after letting it dry on the porch for 3 days, we moved it inside only to discover it smells worse than rodent and fruit combined. It smells like a very large wet dog. Perhaps a pack of dogs.

Enough rambling for now.
...And as a reward for your patience,
some interior house pictures!
(Please ignore all of the little piles...we're working on them!)

The drying rug.

The rug inside.

Cutting the rug. Ha. (Actually cutting a little rubber mat.)

Our method of transportation. It's nice to live a 4.5 minute bike ride from work now!

The piano we found on Freecycle.

Dining room. Note the ficus tree. We hope we won't kill it.
UPDATE: We did kill it. (5/28/2010)

A bathroom.