Where Did My Weekend Go?

Why do the weekends insist of flying by so quickly?

Saturday morning was a mad rush to feed the kids and get everyone to the Pinewood Derby for the 9:30 weigh-in. Joe had a terrific time and although he didn’t win, he was very proud of his car…even though he barely helped! It was clear from the get-go that he didn’t understand that the derby was done in heats, so when his car came in second place in two of the heats, he was thrilled. At the end, he really had no clue that his car placed 9th out of 13. Maybe you will do better next year, kid. Now that we know what the whole thing entails, we’ll get on the ball a little faster.

With the derby done, I needed to get the out of the house before I went utterly psychotic, so on Saturday I went to check out a new vintage/antique store in Windham, Maine called My Sister’s Garage. Technically, it isn’t new, but simply relocated from further north and they have taken over an entire house. Each room is decorated with vintage and repurposed finds, as well as some antiques. I was too busy shopping to take photos and it was a complete mad house since it was their grand opening.

Let me clarify that I’m not planning on changing my blog to focus on “design,” but one of my first posts last summer was all about the kitchen before we started re-decorating. For months, friends and readers have been asking for my ‘After’ pictures. So, I’m finally posting some updated pictures of exactly one half of the kitchen. Why only half, you ask? Well, because the other half was filled with all of the crap from the half that looks neat and tidy in my pictures.

I have been looking for some inexpensive replacements for two of our kitchen chairs and stumbled upon a decent enough find at My Sister’s Garage.

$85 for both chairs and I’m not going to worry about them getting some wear and tear. They work pretty well with the rest of the kitchen decor too, right down to the burlap on the seats that match the drapes I finally finished. Well, I finished them with the help of my mother who doesn’t have the attention span of a flea…thanks, Mom!

A few years ago, I was obsessed with crewel work and bought a few vintage bed covers on EBay. I re-purposed two of them into drapery panels in our downstairs bathroom. For the kitchen, I bought some inexpensive burlap and used my favorite vintage crewel bedspread to make drapery panels.

Here are a few before and after photos of the dining area in the kitchen…

Before/Prior Owners


Last summer, while I was agonizing over exactly which color to paint the mantle and the island, we were busy priming and painting all of the wainscoting and woodwork in the room. The wainscoting and walls were both painted Marble White (Benjamin Moore) and I ended up using Farrow and Ball Green Blue for the mantle and island.


The next thing we need to tackle is the track lighting over the table and the stove and the countertops. I’m still holding out for carrera marble or soapstone on the countertops and butcher block on the island.

 While I was at My Sister’s Garage, I also spotted this vintage grain sack pillow that I couldn’t resist. What can I say, I’m a sucker for terriers. Can you tell? It can hang out with Stella on the window seat.

Please take a moment to vote for No. 7…then I’ll be inspired to write something a little less boring and slightly more funny.

It’s a Whittle Car

Following the school bully debacle, David decided that Joe might like to get involved with Cub Scouts. Sure, it’s mid-way through the year but there are several boys who Joe knows in his new pack and frankly, there has to be something this kid is into besides Super Mario and toenail biting binges.

This weekend is the big Pinewood Derby. Joe has been to exactly one Cub Scouts meeting and we’re so totally clueless as to what the whole thing entails. How un-American of David and me, right? I mean, how in the world have we made it to the ripe old age of (not going to say) without ever having participated in a Pinewood Derby race? I blame David. He’s the one born to do things like this…no wait, I blame my in-laws for not exposing my husband to the world of Cub Scouts and the fine art of pinewood derby car engineering. Okay, not really. I actually thoroughly enjoy my in-laws and their son was busy doing things like soccer and hockey and waterskiing and skiing and being chased by the ladies.

Joe, on the other hand, is still entirely innocent about the ladies and he is not interested in soccer. He made this clear last fall when beckoned David to him with his finger at a game and loudly whispered, “I HATE SOCCER!” in David’s ear. Okay, then…point taken.

The kid likes to run and bike. He wants to learn how to surf this summer. If he sticks to those pursuits, someday he’ll be radical. Hell, he might even possess tiger blood and some goddesses. (We’ll keep the rampant drug use, mixed with batshit crazy out the mix.) For now, he could use some social skills to go with his ADHD so, Viola! Cub Scouts. He likes it. He had fun helping (watching) me build his derby car. He sanded the right rear bumper for about 5 minutes and used a normally forbidden black Sharpie to write his number of choice on the car. He’s with David as I type, weighing the car, sanding axles and polishing wheels… the graphite lubricant is waiting.

Until yesterday, I had no idea that this entire process existed.

We picked the car up last weekend. It was a block of wood, some nails and four plastic tires. Huh…

It sat on the counter untouched for an entire week as Race Day quickly approached. I thought the whole idea was that the boys would ensconce themselves in the workshop with man-tools and hash out a design together. The block of wood would gradually take shape and become a race car through Joe’s hard work and imagination. He’d feel pride of ownership and a bit of reward for his hard work and perseverance.

I walked past that block of wood and it began speaking to me. Well, aren’t you a shitty parent.

It’s not my job. I’m the mommy.

You know… the other blocks of wood are almost done. Joe isn’t getting anything out of this experience and how, by the way, is he going to learn to commit to a project or club or relationship if you don’t turn me into a car?

I sat down with the block of wood and a cup of coffee. Oh God, you’re right Block of Wood… we’re not teaching him the right lessons. Where did we go wrong? No wonder the kid has the attention span of a flea…it’s my fault entirely!

Do you know me? I mean personally know me? No? Well, let me tell you that watching that block of wood languish on the counter was killing me. I thought, surely that thing should have some sort of shape by now. A few more days went by and David put some markings on it and put it back down. I just couldn’t help myself. We were three days from Race Day and my need to take control won. I Googled pinewood derby cars and realized how much work needed to be done and it needed to be done immediately!

I rifled through David’s workshop, located a hacksaw and lopped the front end off. Then I got busy whittling. Using one of my beloved (and très expensive) paring knives, the hacksaw and some sandpaper, I spent the better part of my Thursday sawing and whittling a semi-lame car out of a block of pine. No, it’s not fantastic – I agree, but at least the car was on its way and could be painted and race-worthy in time for Saturday morning.

Joe wanted his car to be red. Done.

Joe wanted flames and the number to be ‘909’. Done buddy, and I like your unintentional nod to The Beatles.

My baby says she’s the one
After nine-o-nine
I said move over honey,
I’m traveling on that line

Good luck, little guy!

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