Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Life's Purpose

Tell me not, in mournful numbers, Life is but a dream! For the soul is dead that slumbers, And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou are, to dust thou returnest, Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow, Is our destined end or way; But to act, that each tomorrow Find us farther than today.

Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sands of time.

Let us then be up and doing, With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait.

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American poet and educator.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


The best of all things is to learn. Money can be lost or stolen, health and strength may fail, but what you have committed to your mind is yours forever.

- Louis L'Amour

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What Does It Take?

JoyHappiness, an emotion

What does it take to add joy to our lives? I'm not talking about shopping, money, or any other material gain. I'm talking about how you feel about yourself. Are you a joyful person who strives to look at the brighter side of life? How you feel about yourself determines how you treat others. What steps do you take to add or keep joy in your life?

Following is a number of things, from Life's Little Instruction Book, Volume II by H Jackson Brown Jr, each of us can do, or improve upon, that would help us to look at life as a joyful experience rather than "Dang It! It's another day".

  1. Pay as much attention to the things that are working positively in your life as you do to those that are giving you trouble.

  2. Rake a big pile of leaves every fall and jump in it with someone you love.

  3. Memorize your favorite love poem.

  4. Learn three knock-knock jokes so you will always be ready to entertain children.

  5. Don't let weeds grow around your dreams.

  6. Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something, and has lost something.

  7. Regardless of the situation, react with class.

  8. Let some things remain mysterious.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What You Cannot Do

The following quote is in honor of Lincoln's birthday. Simply put, it's good advice.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing what they could and should do for themselves. - Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, February 9, 2013

What Does A Headboard And Piano Got To Do With It?

Plenty.  Especially when they are put in the same room.

When faced with the task of finishing off the Lavender Room in order to make it ready for guests, I needed to install a sink. Thus, the headboard and piano.

Lavender Room sink
Someone had given me a console piano from the 1940's, and the bakelite keys were in sorry shape. In fact, to repair the piano would have cost more than what my piano allowance would provide. It was a nice piece of cherry furniture, but it was also taking up much-needed room in the dining room for a china cabinet I acquired from my aunt.

Separating the front of the piano from the heavy back section required a sawsall after eliminating the keys and anything else that was movable. I remember distinctly a warm day, and sawdust in the dining room. The piano was much to bulky to move the complete thing outside by myself.  However, after reducing the weight with surgery, I was able to manuever the heavy back part out to the driveway where I baptized it with fire in order to scrap the chunk of metal that held the piano wires.

The headboard was from an antique bed that had seen better days. The dark wood was marred and scratched, and the wood carvings on the footboard were beginning to fall apart. So, I didn't feel guilty for using one of the pieces for something entirely different from its origanal purpose as a bed.

Lavender Room
After moving both the piano front and headboard to the Lavender Room I set about repurposing them for the sink stand. Each piece fit together like molasses cookies,  and provided the perfect platform for the sink. Plumbing was easy, and painting was a breeze.

Building the window bed provided a convenient disguise for the plumbing as well as an extra bed for a child, aside from two twin beds in the room. Add a newly painted,  salvaged chest of drawers and an easy chair, and the Lavender Room was born.