Monday, June 16, 2008

Clematis morning


This was the view out the front door this morning - that clematis has really taken off this year! Actually, there are two clematis growing together there, but only the red one really produces flowers. The other one might surprise me later in the summer with one lavish pink flower, but that's about it. However, I shouldn't give up hope; the mock orange at the front of the house is finally producing a few flowers this year, more than 5 years after I installed it there! I'll keep feeding it during the summer, and maybe next year will bring more; it worked for the lilacs, at any rate.

Yesterday was Father's Day, and we got a new TV! We had to; the old one was giving out. The picture was almost white, and even the kids found their cartoons were becoming unwatchable. We got a Vizio flat-screen, and the nice thing about it is, it's so complicated the kids don't know how to use it! So on the one hand, they have to get me to turn it on for them, and set it to the VCR setting, but on the other hand, they can't jack up the volume to 11! I know they'll figure it out eventually, especially Thomas - he's very clever with electronics - but for now I have ultimate control over the TV!

As the new set was coming in, we had to get rid of the old one. The problem is, it was a console set that I'd bought used at an auction several years ago, and it was VERY heavy. I can't even remember how we got it out of the van. I figured it was too heavy for the garbageman to lift and throw into the truck, and I didn't want to call someone to haul it away, so the natural thing to do was to disassemble it, and throw it out in pieces.

I like taking things apart - I took an upholstery course several years ago, and stripping furniture was the thing I enjoyed the most. I like to see how things were put together. It took me about 5 hours altogether, spread over Saturday and Sunday, to get it all apart. The hardest part was the plastic molding across the front - I couldn't find the right size screwdriver, so I thought I'd just break it. Big mistake - it was incredibly hard plastic, that would just bend under the prybar then snap back into position. When I DID break it in place, it snapped like a gunshot, and left sharp edges! Finally I was able to unscrew the rest of it, and then it came off easily. It turns out the cabinet was made of solid wood - the base, once the big glass cathode-ray thing was off, by itself weighed almost as much as the entire new TV! I found a date stamped on it inside - September 1985. That was an OLD tv! But it's all ready for the garbage on Thursday now.

The next job is to take apart the old couch in the TV room. I'm sorry to have to do it, because it's another well-made piece of furniture (from the 20s or 30s), but the upholstery and seat are shot, and because of the huge size of it and all the deep tufting along the back and arms, it would cost us $1000 to get it reupholstered and restored, and we just can't afford it. Instead of a couch, we're just going to have chairs in there, which allows much more flexibility when it comes to placement. The couch demolition will probably take me a few days, but the room will look much bigger when it's done.

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