August 2, 2010

School Daze

I am headed "home" to scenic East Tennessee today, to visit my Mom for a couple of days. Naturally I am feeling a bit nostalgic (among other things) as the time to depart approaches. After 36 years of marriage, my folks are divorcing. Sad, yes. And it makes me wonder what the visit with Mom will be like. It will not be an easy, light, and  joyful one I am sure, but I am also certain I will not regret having spent time with her when it's over. I am VERY happy I'll get to see one of my very best friends, Donna, who has agreed to have dinner with me while I'm in town- get that? She KNOWS me (VERRRRRRY well), and she STILL will spend time with me. Sigh. Happiness. I love friends. AND I get to stop on the way home to see a couple MORE bestest friends. Good times, peeps, good times.

I don't know how it is for you, but when I visit the fam inevitably there's the traditional photo album review and talk of old times (at least, we used to do that, but I may avoid it this time for obvious reasons). Just the THOUGHT of the photo album review right now brings up all kinds of emotions, and not all good ones. School days were a welcome respite for me when I was growing up- I liked school, seeing my friends, and learning. I was a VORACIOUS reader and made great grades until the last couple of years of high school (there's a reason for that which I will not get into right now). I did, however, have a bit of a problem in the CONDUCT area of school life; namely, the dreaded "Talks Too Much" conduct score that ALWAYS reared its ugly head. I mean, really, is that important? HONESTLY? In the scope of things does the amount of chatter that came flowing out of my mouth like water from an exploded dam necessitate such harsh retribution as being marked down to a B+ in conduct on my report card?

I recall vividly the time I got a paddling by my 4th Grade teacher, Mrs. Pugh, who paddled me for laughing too much. Annette Burns and Penny Morton were arm wrestling. Neither of them were any bigger than a minute, but Penny was the stronger of the two and as she lowered Annette's hand to the desk, the desk tipped a little bit, bringing the seat of the desk UP, while her feet were somehow dangling, even though the desktop was DOWN toward the floor. For some reason, this struck me as incredibly hilarious and it was one of those moments in which my giggle box was just jump-started and it could NOT be stopped.

(Getty images- cute, huh?)

I could NOT stop laughing, and for some reason they didn't stop arm wrestling (maybe because of my reaction?). Oh but Mrs. Pugh was not amused in the slightest. It was time for MATH and my incessant giggle was disrupting the process of learning mathematics and this was simply not excusable. In her defense I have to say she did tell me a couple of times to be quiet, and looking back now I figure she was probably just having a bad day, after all. Maybe her cat peed everywhere before she left for work or her hamster got out of its cage. Perhaps she hit a goose on the drive in, got into a huge fight with the hubby who she just found out doesn't REALLY play cards with the guys on Tuesdays, but goes to some bar somewhere to shoot pool and why in the world does he lie about it anyway, there isn't anything wrong with shooting pool and having a beer with the boys. Who knows. But QUIET at that moment in time, was simply impossible. IMPOSSIBLE, I tell you! Honestly at this point I was likely all but hysterical.

(Getty again)

You must understand that these are the times in which I grew up, peeps. Can you even imagine something like that these days? Can you say LAW SUIT?? Oh, Mrs. Pugh, thank goodness you taught in the era in which you did, so that you could dole out punishment for such sinister, devious, and salacious acts against nature as laughing. I was so completely devastated that I put MYSELF into time out on the wall at recess. I could scarcely breathe I was so incredibly  upset about     B E I N G   P A D D L E D.

(you guessed it- Getty; no that's not me... I am not THAT old and how could you even think that. Plus, this pic is of a BOY!)

Not only did I sequester myself at recess, but I didn't eat lunch, and no sooner had I made it into the door at home, the anguish of being punished came GUSHING out and I confessed the horrible crimes I'd committed against mankind that day. I was convinced that there would be equally dire consequences at home, once the darkness of my deed was known, but I could no more stop the confession of guilt than I could hold back the same water from the exploded dam that I am sure has happened at some point in history, somewhere in the world. This time, though, I somehow managed to escape further punishment, because for some reason unknown (I was going to use the word unbeknownst here, but did you know that is not REALLY a word? I wonder if it's in the Scrabble dictionary- I must look that up, but I digress...) to me my parents somehow saw it in their infinite mercy and grace to let it go. And that is what I must do, also. Ok, let it go. Just let it go.

I. Will. Not. Be. Bitter.

Even though my youngins are oldins now and they no longer have need for such accoutrement, since I am a dealer merchant now for Queen of Hearts in Buford, I find myself drawn to all things SCHOOL related what with it being that time of year again, and what with my furniture obsession business, I've been on the hunt for desks, chairs, and such. Found this:

You cannot tell in the above picture that the desk matched the hutch (pic below), but they do match, they are solid maple, and even though the hardware was shiny brass, all the pieces were there and very little damage was done to either piece. PLUS, the desk set came with TWO chairs. Good deal. I'm in.

I am not even kidding. Someone had a PAIR of chairs with seats that looked like this. OH. MY. GOODNESS. The chair pic shows the correct color of the wood to all these pieces.


Wow that is a bad pic of the desk, which was actually a rather nice color of maple, but it was 6:30 am and the sun wasn't QUITE awake yet so you can't tell the color of the wood. I took all the drawers out, removed the hardware, sanded everything down lightly, and primed it. Then painted. Then papered (because you KNOW I can't leave something un-papered for very long). 

Here is my VERY fancy (prepare to be absolutely FILLED with envy) knob holder painting thingy:

It is an Arm & Hammer box from BJ's Wholesale, where you do not get bags in which to put your purchases as you leave the store- you get boxes that don't have tops and some don't have sides that hold anything and if you're not careful you will drop your economy size laundry detergent on the parking lot and it will explode all over the concrete and leave you standing there with your jaw dropped open until a bug flies in it and you're so grossed out you don't even care anymore that there's 6,000 ounces of laundry detergent splattered all over the world, including the side of a nice looking car that doesn't belong to you. I'm just saying. It COULD happen. Not saying it DID happen.

You may notice that there are some doorknobs mixed in with the desk hardware. That is because I got the bright idea to paint my interior and exterior doorknobs while I was painting the hardware for the desk. I mean, may as well, right? Well, there's a bit of a story to my painting doorknobs that I'll have to get into in another post, because it's too long. It's HILARIOUS (prepare your giggle boxes for turnover) and I do have picture evidence it actually happened, thanks to my vindictive youngest child who thought it was the most hysterically funny situation she had seen in quite some time. But I digress (again)...

The paint is Krylon Oil Rubbed Bronze metallic spray paint and it is AMAZING. I mean AMAZING.  I had a hard time finding it for a very long time, but finally found it at Home Depot (I must've overlooked it all those times before?!), at only $3.59 a can. YESSIR I am THERE! 

And here is how the desk, hutch, and chair turned out, hours and loads of sweat (I mean, it has been in the upper 90s here for the last two weeks- have I mentioned that I. HATE. SUMMER.) later:

Remember the Happy Lamp and the sweet papered clipboards? The lamp (now with a clip-on peacock -LOVE- attached to a ruffle) and a couple of the clipboards are still around. And here is another desk that didn't have a hutch or chair, but I'm recovering the seat of the second chair from the pair I got with the hutch desk, and will put that one with this desk. Make sense? LOL!!!! And yes, it will have a zebra-stripe seat also JUST BECAUSE I CAN! I did manage to line the drawers of this desk, and they look very much like the hutch that belongs with the other one. Cute.

I didn't paint the hardware on this desk because it was in pretty good shape already and I was pleased with the patina of them. I got the little bird print in the AWESOME green frame for $5 at a yard sale. SCORE! I LOVE it and all I did was clean it up, put the price on it (yes, more than $5- a gal's gotta make a profit, peeps), and set it on the lil' ol' desk next to the polka dot lattice lamp with the fray fabric flower. :-)

When I return from my little trip (if I ever actually get out the door this morning) I have a super old medicine cabinet, table, and shelf revamp to share with you, along with my S L I G H T L Y embarrassing little spray painting adventure story. 

Happy trails, my friends, and now, in the spirit of BACK TO SCHOOL... go LEARN SOMETHING!! 


  1. You CRACK ME UP!!! The entire laundry degerent thing had me laughing out loud! Good thing I was hidden away in my own private office. If I was at school or perhaps in a cubicle, I could lose points on my conduct grade! :) I'm so sorry to hear about your parents. I know all about that--though I've never had to handle it as an adult. I'm sure it's more shocking and no less difficult to deal with.
    Oh, and your stuff is ADORABLE as always! :) I wish you the best of luck selling it all!

  2. Oh, Christy! I'm SO thankful you weren't in an area where you could've possibly been monitored for conduct, and that the laughter police weren't around!! I can attest... paddlings are not pleasant. Glad you were safe from the sure and swift retribution that comes from judgment of such behavior... live & laugh on!! ;-)


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