Archive for October, 2008

Kitchen Table – 2

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

Before yesterday I took the kitchen table and chairs out to the garage. As I have said previously I refinished the table top, which looks pretty good. Now it’s time for the chairs and table supports to be painted white. I thought I had some paint, but when I opened up what I had it was either too little or dried out. So off I went to Home Depot to get some bright white enamel. Afterwards I spent about four hours painting six chairs, four legs and all the table parts including the drawer. Now they are drying and I’ll assemble it later tonight.

I’ve missed having this table. Typically each morning I sit at this table, eat my breakfast and read the paper. In the meantime I’ve had to use the dining room table, but it’s not the same, nor is it as convenient.

Update: Finished table

Lump – 2

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Had a mammogram and ultrasound today. I was lucky and someone canceled their appointment so I got it and went in. It was at the Women’s Imaging Center. The results were as follows… The mammogram was inconclusive. The ultrasound showed something and the doctor suggested I get a biopsy. So that’ll be next. IMHO, I think the lump is getting smaller, but we’ll let the doctors decide.

Lump – 1

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

Last week as I started on my long run I felt soreness in my right upper chest. Since I’d been doing all this sanding, and staining on the door and table I thought it was just muscle soreness. As the run continued I forgot about it. Later that day I continued on my refinishing chores, but didn’t feel the soreness then. I think it was on Sunday or Monday that I noticed a lump in my upper right breast. It wasn’t especially tender, but it was harder than my normal breast tissue and it was about two inches across. I showed it to Kathy on Monday night who told me to get an appointment with the doctor to check it out.


I went in on Wednesday afternoon to see the nurse practitioner who checked me out. She said that it didn’t appear to be an infection (no redness) or the lymph nodes weren’t sore, and suggested I get an ultrasound. So now I’ve got an appointment for a mammogram and ultrasound on November 6th. Naturally I have no idea how long that I’ve had this lump, but now I constantly feel it especially as I jiggle along as I’m running. Naturally I’m worried since I have a propensity for getting tumors of various types – foot, hand, brain, what have you.

Kitchen Table – 1

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

Well I’m on a roll so why not do more. Maybe it’ll help quell some of the weekend boredom that I’ve been feeling recently. So while the front door was drying I disassembled our kitchen table and carried the butcher block top to the garage to work on it.

We’ve had this table since Poughkeepsie. We bought it unfinished and I stained the top and painted the bottom white. It’s seen a lot of action from numerous family meals to baking and cooking to decorating Christmas cookies to assembling puzzles to so many other things. After all that it’s been looking a bit weary. The top especially has been showing wear with both the stain and the polyurethane wearing off in spots. So while I waited for the front door to dry I sanded the top down with my orbital sander to bare wood. Note: next time I should separate my drying work from my sanding work – oh well nothing was damaged beyond repair. Afterwards Katie and I stained the top. This time I choose to use the red oak stain which I had just used for the front door instead of the original lighter fruitwood. Since the table was so old it just drank in the stain. Next I applied the first coat of polyurethane, and it’s now drying for six hours before I sand it again and put on the next coat. The “prep” sanding really roughed up the surface so the “between-coats” sanding is really needed.
More to follow…

Front Door – 2

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

All week long I’ve noticed how nice the dark stain and the bright brass handles have looked when I walked up to the front door. On Saturday I continued to work on the front door. After my long run, a short nap, and a shower (in that order) I took the door down and brought it into the garage with Katie’s help. We again sealed up the open doorway similar to last week with a paint drop cloth and wood strips. By that time it was early afternoon. We applied the first coat of polyurethane and let it dry for six hours. Before bed I went out, sanded it, and applied a second coat. That night only a paint drop cloth covered the front door. On Sunday I got up early and applied a third coat to the entire door. Around noon I applied one more coat to the center panel of the door for added protection. Even before it was dry Katie and I carefully remounted the door.

I think it looks even better now. In my humble opinion a nice looking front door, even one with character – meaning it’s not perfect, says something about the people that live there. I look forward to the holidays and our children and their partners arriving at this front door and the festive home inside. But it’s not just what other people think, instead and more importantly it’s what I think when I walk up and see how nice our front door looks and that makes me feel good inside.

Front Door – 1

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

I’m working on the front door. It gets a lot of abuse from the sun. After a while the polyurethane disappears (where does it go?) and the door needs to be stained and repainted with polyurethane. So today was the day. Over a month ago I bought the polyurethane, but the weather was too hot to use it. I had to wait until cooler times because the front door had to be removed and the house would be open to the elements. This morning I went to Home Depot and bought wood strips and a small drop-cloth. I removed the door and brought it into the garage to work on it. I sealed up the open doorway to keep people, pets, and pests out with the wood strips and drop-cloth.

Next back in the garage I sanded the entire door with my power sander, and then hand sanded it too. Katie came out with a drink of water and then helped me with the first staining. I applied the red-oak stain with a brush and she rubbed it off with clean cloths.
I let it dry for 5 hours before putting on the second coat. I’m worried that we’re not going to get this done today and it’ll extend into tomorrow – with a hole in the front of our house. While waiting I painstakingly cleaned off the brass kick-plate, door handle, and lock surround to remove all the lacquer on them.
This should allow them to patina naturally and allow them to be cleaned easier in the future. After 5 hours it was dark out and I applied one more coat of stain. It was too late to start polyurethaning so Katie and I rehung the front door. More to follow…